Dark Universe’s Bride of Frankenstein remake described as character study

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Bride of Frankenstein James Whale

This past weekend's release of THE MUMMY was meant to usher us into a "new world of gods and monsters" called Dark Universe and inhabited by new versions of Universal's classic monsters and madmen: the Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, monster hunter Van Helsing, etc. Given the fact that it was built up as being the start of a new franchise, it makes sense that a lot of attention has been paid to THE MUMMY's box office. The film opened "soft" in the United States, pulling in around $32 million. Its real success came from foreign markets, where it earned just under $141 million, bringing it to an opening weekend total of over $172 million. That's the biggest opening weekend of star Tom Cruise's career.

Still, with a high budget of $125 million and marketing costs that nearly reached the triple digits, THE MUMMY will have to make a good chunk of change to break even, and it's obvious that American audiences are not (yet?) enthusiastic about the promise of Dark Universe.

Universal is keeping the faith, though, and intends to continue moving forward with their Dark Universe plans. The international support THE MUMMY has received is emboldening, especially when you take into account that the studio never planned to make every Dark Universe movie on the same action-packed, high-budget scale as the introductory film. Some of the movies will be big like THE MUMMY, some of them could be much smaller – it has even been said that Blumhouse Productions could get involved with some lower budgeted Dark Universe projects.

The next Dark Universe film is set to be a remake of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, which Bill Condon will be directing for a February 14, 2019 release. Fittingly, BRIDE is expected to be one of those films that is smaller than THE MUMMY – smaller scope, smaller budget. Speaking to TheWrap, someone close to the project described BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN as "a character study".

The screenplay for BRIDE is being written by David Koepp, who has described his approach to the material as "a tale of liberation", centering on a female creature that stands up to its creators.

…the Bride is essentially a sympathetic figure. This tragic, hunted figure. And obviously the Mummy is a very bad entity that must be stopped. That’s not us. The troublemakers are the ones who would try to control her."

Javier Bardem is signed on to play Frankenstein's Monster in the film, but the Bride herself has not yet been cast. For the last year and a half, Universal has been making it clear that Angelina Jolie is at the top of their Bride wish list.

The Dark Universe films will be connected to each other by a mysterious organization called Prodigium, which was introduced in THE MUMMY and is led by Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll (who has a dangerous alter ego called Eddie Hyde).

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.

No one has said how Prodigium will fit into the BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN story, but if the Bride is being hunted, it's possible that Jekyll's organization could be among the hunters.

It's not certain if there will be a MUMMY sequel in the Dark Universe's future, but Tom Cruise's character Nick Morton is expected to show up again somewhere along the line.

I probably have enough enthusiasm for the Dark Universe concept to make up for several of those who are lacking it; I am really hyped to see how this endeavor plays out. THE MUMMY was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and while the finished product didn't blow me away, I did enjoy it quite a lot. It was more appealing to me than the last Mummy series. I'm looking forward to seeing the new takes on the rest of the classic monsters. 

Source: TheWrap

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.