A year ago, all the talk was about building out franchises into a ‘cinematic universe’ in order to try and emulate the success that Marvel Studios had with the model.
Now, in the wake of a disastrous Summer, talk of linked films acting as commercials for the next entry are being downplayed in favour of standalone films and hopefully more of a focus on just making the immediate movie as good as it can be.
Warners has stepped back a bit from the DC cinematic universe, not denying the connection but making their post-“Justice League” films less interconnected than they originally intended to be.
Now it appears Universal’s ‘Dark Universe’ is doing the same, continuing on but not playing up its connections as much as they did with this past Summer’s “The Mummy” in an effort to deliver a more classic monster movie vibe.
Bill Condon directs the second film in the initiative, the remake of “Bride of Frankenstein,” from a script by David Koepp (who also wrote the recent “The Mummy”). Asked about the ‘Dark Universe’ angle and how it plays into this, Condon tells Collider it’s not a big deal:
“I will tell you this – what I’m doing is 100% making a really good monster movie. It has nothing to do with anything else. Nothing. Zero.”
Filming on the project kicks off in February and runs through June with shooting to take place mostly in London. Condon explains how the story slightly subverts the story of the original James Whale-directed film:
“What I love about David Koepp’s script is he turns everything on its head. This is Eve before Adam, the bride comes first. So in its own way – you know, we all know the Bride only exists for ten minutes in the Whale movie; she’s there and the movie’s over.
So I keep thinking [it’s], in a way, at least a tribute to what Whale might have done if he’d made a third Frankenstein movie and he’d done it in the 21st Century. I think there are just things about the sensibility of that movie.
Also his genius in solving that basic problem you still see when people approach monster movies now, which is you’ve got to create a monster that you’re afraid of, that you’re terrified of, but you can still identify with, and that line was never walked better than by James Whale.”
Javier Bardem is in talks for the role of Frankenstein in the film but the key casting of the Bride still remains unconfirmed. The film opens February 14th 2019.