Despite a bumpy road for The Mummy, the film came out as a financial success despite scathing reviews. It made most of its money overseas, and pulled in over $400 million worldwide, but the fact that Universal’s Dark Universe could have crashed before it even begun was probably a bit of a jolt to studio executives. While they had already slated the next feature in the series, Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein, to open on February 14, 2019, it looks like the production is hitting pause even though a few days ago Condon told us he was planning to start filming in February.
Deadline reports that while pre-production was gearing up, the crew has been told to go home and stars Javier Bardem and Angelina Jolie are now in a holding pattern as they wait for screenwriter David Koepp to refine the script. In a statement to Deadline, Universal said:
“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.”
Deadline says that the studio is trying to figure out what the film should be, going so far to speculate that it might go in the direction of a “terrifying, well-drawn and possibly R-rated tale”, but that the larger issue is to settle on a tone as opposed to the scattershot The Mummy, which tried to walk the line between action and horror.
However, the film’s delay could also be due to scheduling conflicts. Universal has had its eye on Jolie for a long time to play the Bride, but as we reported a couple days ago, Maleficent 2 landed Joachim Rønning to direct, and that film is now planning to shoot in the first quarter of 2018. Since Jolie definitely isn’t going to give up Maleficent 2, that means Universal could either go looking for a new Bride or they could opt to wait and work on the script in the meantime. It looks like they’ve gone with the latter option.
THR reports that the film has been pulled from the release calendar, which means at this point, no planned film in the Dark Universe has a release date.