Director Bill Condon's Bride of Frankenstein is showing new signs of life, as the project assembles a production crew in order to begin filming sometime this year. The classic monster movie reboot still has Javier Bardem attached to costar as Frankenstein's monster, though the role of the Bride has yet to be officially filled. Angelina Jolie has been first in line to play the Bride for the past few years, but the Oscar-winner is believed to have now passed on that role, and is focusing her attention on the Disney fairy tale sequel Maleficent 2 instead.
Bride of Frankenstein was once slated to begin filming next month, in order to make a February 2019 theatrical release date. However, the future of the project was cast in doubt after last summer's The Mummy reboot performed below expectations both critically and commercially. The Mummy was directed by Alex Kurtzman and was meant to kickoff a shared universe of classic Universal monster movie reboots known as the Dark Universe, which would include Bride of Frankenstein. However, production on Condon's monster film has since been indefinitely delayed, and Kurtzman has left the Dark Universe franchise along with fellow head writer/producer Chris Morgan.
Related: The Dark Universe is Falling Apart
The Dark Universe logo may or may not ever appear on the big screen again, but Omega Underground has learned that Bride of Frankenstein is assembling its production crew in the meantime. The team so far includes several of Condon's collaborators on his live-action Beauty and the Beast reimagining for Disney, including cinematographer Tobias A. Schliessler, production designer Sarah Greenwood, and costume designer Jacqueline Durran. Also onboard is composer Carter Burwell, who has worked with Condon multiple times before and is expected to pick up an Oscar nomination next week for his efforts on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
It was reported last year that Diana Prince herself, Gal Gadot was Condon's second pick to play the Bride of Frankenstein after Jolie. While it's possible that Gadot will step in now that Jolie has seemingly passed, her schedule could prevent that from happening. Gadot and director Patty Jenkins are set to begin filming Wonder Woman 2 this summer, and Gadot is loosely attached to a few other developing projects that could start filming either shortly before or after that. The planned production timeline for Bride of Frankenstein is up in the air at the moment, but it would probably have to start shooting either in the spring or this fall to accommodate Gadot.
Also unclear is Bride of Frankenstein's connections - or lack thereof - to the Dark Universe and the foundation for the franchise laid down by The Mummy. Kurtzman's film envisioned a modern day world where multiple supernatural entities exist in the shadows, and are monitored by a secret organization known as Prodigium, as headed by none other than Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). However, it's believed that the Bride of Frankenstein screenplay by David Koepp (Jurassic Park) is relatively standalone in design, and wouldn't require too much tinkering in the case that Universal decides to give up on the Dark Universe altogether from here.
Dark Universe connections or not, Bride of Frankenstein is one of several developing Universal monster movie reboots that sounds promising, and is simply waiting in the wings for an official green light. We will keep you posted and let you know when/if the project start moving forward in a more formal capacity.
Source: Omega Underground