Dark Universe, we hardly knew ye! After the disappointing performance of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy this summer (the film earned a paltry $80 million at the domestic box office against a production budget of $125 million), there was speculation that Universal’s ambitious Dark Universe franchise would not proceed as planned. Then came the news that the studio had pulled the plug on pre-production of Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein. Now, things have gone from bad to worse! The Hollywood Reporter just broke the news that writers/producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have officially left the project. Kurtzman directed The Mummy, and the duo were initially brought on board to oversee production of the entire cinematic universe, which once promised to feature the likes of Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Anjelina Jolie in future installments.
News sure travels fast on the internets these days! Hours after HNN contributor Mark McCurley reported the breaking news on Universal’s plans to release its Bride of Frankenstein reboot to theaters on Valentine’s Day 2019, the studio has officially pulled the movie from its release schedule. The February 19th, 2019 release date didn’t even last as long as The Mummy lasted in theaters this summer!
As early as Tuesday of this week, director Bill Condon told Forbes that principal photography was scheduled to begin on February 1st, 2018, and that casting decisions for the film would soon be made. Now, Variety reports that Univeral has dropped the film’s planned release date from their schedule entirely and moved back pre-production efforts on the project. The studio cited the script as the reason for the delay, and said that Condon is continuing to work with screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man) to improve the screenplay before production. read more
Critics have taken great delight in tearing The Mummy to shreds over the past few weeks. When word dropped of poor early reviews and anticipated disappointing performance at the domestic box office, a pile-on occurred where critics tried to one-up each other with witty insults for the film and its participants. I’m embarrassed to say that I also took part in the public flogging (“Smell something rotten this weekend?”, I mused. “That’s the stench of a sarcophagus that never should have been opened!”) Well, I decided to take advantage of the pleasure of sitting in a big empty theater for a movie that isn’t drawing audiences and check out the flick for myself. To my utter surprise, I didn’t find it to be nearly as bad as I expected based on other critical reviews. In short, I’ve certainly seen worse mummy movies! read more
After the enormous success of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, director Bill Condon is in talks to helm a different kind of love story! Universal wants him for its Bride of Frankenstein remake. Deadline reports that he is close to reaching a deal with the studio to direct a modern version of what he has called his favorite Universal Monsters film in previous interviews.
Beauty and the Beast is currently the highest grossing film of 2017, in both the domestic and worldwide marketplaces. It just broke the $1 billion mark worldwide, and there’s still gas in the tank; so it’s no wonder Universal is eyeing Condon to take on its own “tale as old as time.” read more