Another ‘shared universe’ may have bitten the dust. Bill ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Condon was set to direct Bride of Frankenstein, a remark of the 1935 Universal Classic – but apparently everyone has (literally) been told to just go home.
Universal wanted to get in on the Avengers style ‘MASHUP!’ with its ‘Dark Universe’, whereby the classic Universal Monsters were made antagonists of their own modern day action flicks. Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy kicked things off this year, and it took $400M worldwide. These days, studios clearly think that denotes utter failure.
Deadline reports that February 1st was set for production to start in London “…but the crew has just been told to go home for the time being.“
So maybe Universal has cold feet. Maybe they’re re-tooling it. Their statement indicates as such:
“After thoughtful consideration, Universal Pictures and director Bill Condon have decided to postpone Bride of Frankenstein. None of us want to move too quickly to meet a release date when we know this special movie needs more time to come together. Bill is a director whose enormous talent has been proven time and again, and we all look forward to continuing to work on this film together.”
Beauty and the Beast’s lush production values of ‘nondescript olden days France’ worked well and Luke generally had a good time watching it as we discussed on the O.S.S podcast. So a Bill Condon directed Bridge of Frankenstein was something this writer could generally root for.
However, this huge upfront creative investment in ‘shared universes’ is clearly beginning to see diminishing returns. Hands up if you’re excited for the next MonsterVerse film? Did you even know there was a MonsterVerse? It has its own logo and everything.
Spare a thought for the fallen in this failed Hollywood endeavour though. We’ll never see a Paul Giamatti Rhino film as long as we live. On the other hand…