Universal Taps BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN Director For Newly Renamed “Dark Universe” Franchise

Dark Universe

Bill Condon will be directing Universal’s Bride Of Frankenstein. The film will be the studio’s second installment in their just rechristened Dark Universe shared cinematic universe that will comprise movies featuring a number of the studio’s classic monster characters. Next month’s The Mummy starring Tom Cruise will kick off the franchise.

Bride Of Frankenstein is scheduled for a February 14, 2019 release. Initially Universal had scheduled April 13, 2018 for their next installment in the series. There has been no word as to whether the studio will slot another film into that date or give it up.

Universal also released a short promotional video announcing the new Dark Universe title that pays homage to the studio’s classic monster films. The new logo is from Peter Jackson’s WETA Workshop.

The franchise name change of the franchise does come as a bit of a surprise, though it does make sense. It is very probable that Universal renamed the franchise to avoid confusion with Legendary’s “MonsterVerse” series which features the likes of Godzilla and King Kong.

As per the studio’s press release –

Dark Universe films will be distinguished by performances from some of the most talented and popular global superstars stepping into iconic roles, as well as electric new talents whose careers are starting to break through. While previously announced, the stars of both imminent and future Dark Universe projects are gathered for the first time in the attached photo: The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by, respectively, blockbuster icon Johnny Depp and Academy Award® winner Javier Bardem, who appear together later this summer in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Those actors join superstar Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, who lead the all-star cast of The Mummy, along with Sofia Boutella, the actress who embodies the title role in that film.

At its organizing principle, Dark Universe films are connected by a mysterious multi-national organization known as Prodigium. Led by the enigmatic and brilliant Dr. Henry Jekyll, Prodigium’s mission is to track, study and—when necessary—destroy evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world. Working outside the aegis of any government, and with practices concealed by millennia of secrecy, Prodigium protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists just beyond the thin membrane of civilized society… and will go to any length to contain it.

Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters. Welcome to Dark Universe.

Condon brings some interesting background to Bride Of Frankenstein. In 1999, he directed Gods And Monsters, which looked at the latter life of James Whale, the director of the original Universal Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein films.

In the same press release, Condon stated –

I’m very excited to bring a new Bride of Frankenstein to life on screen, particularly since James Whale’s original creation is still so potent. The Bride of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monster in film history, and that’s a testament to Whale’s masterpiece—which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made.

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About Rich Drees 7152 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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