Yesterday, Universal Pictures yanked Bride of Frankenstein from its February 14, 2019 release date and off its release schedule entirely, which lead some to speculate that the studio's nascent Dark Universe is already in big trouble. Now we have word that Angelina Jolie, who has been rumored for some time as the title character but never officially confirmed, may be backing away from the project, but if she does, director Bill Condon reportedly wants to bring on Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) to take her place. While nothing is official quite yet, it could mark quite the interesting development for this project, and the Dark Universe as a whole.
Shortly before the release of the first FR59n8qk1MWA87|+Dark Universe movie, The Mummy, Universal released a photo featuring The Mummy stars Tom Cruise (Nick Morton), Sofia Boutella (Ahmanet) and Russell Crowe (Dr. Henry Jekyl) but it also confirmed Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's monster in Bride of Frankenstein, and Johnny Depp as the title character in The Invisible Man. This new report from The Wrap claims that Javier Bardem's deal isn't finalized, and neither was Angelina Jolie's deal either. The report claims that the project has been in a "holding pattern," as director Bill Condon and the studio keep waiting to see whether or not Angelina Jolie will sign on or drop out of the project. Here's what an unidentified insider had to say about the project.
"This is fairly out of nowhere given how deep they were into prep over there, but not really surprising. Their mandate has more or less been that they wanted these to work as PG-rated action movies/theme-park rides, not horror movies. Basically, Fast and the Furious meets The Avengers, but with super monsters."
Another source stated they were surprised Universal is still moving forward with their Dark Universe, given how The Mummy flopped at the box office, which we reported in late June could result in losses of $95 million, despite a strong box office showing overseas. Still, it seems the studio is moving forward with this Dark Universe, which The Mummy helped set the table for. The entire universe will revolve around the mysterious corporation Prodigium, run by Dr. Henry Jekyl that has a mission to protect the world from supernatural creatures and beings. Director Bill Condon stated in an interview this week that he is not worried at all about how his movie connects to the Dark Universe, he's only concerned with making a great monster movie. Here's what the filmmaker had to say about the script that was written by David Koepp (Jurassic Park), which is much different than the original 1935 classic, directed by James Whale.
"What I love about David Koepp's script is he turns everything on its head. This is Eve before Adam, the bride comes first. So in its own way, you know, we all know the Bride only exists for 10 minutes in the Whale movie; she's there and the movie's over. So I keep thinking [it's], in a way, at least a tribute to what Whale might have done if he'd made a third Frankenstein movie and he'd done it in the 21st Century. I think there are just things about the sensibility of that movie. Also his genius in solving that basic problem you still see when people approach monster movies now, which is you've got to create a monster that you're afraid of, that you're terrified of, but you can still identify with, and that line was never walked better than by James Whale."
As for Gal Gadot, her reps wouldn't comment on the story, and there is no indication of whether or not she would be interested in taking on this iconic role. The actress is most certainly in demand, after starring in Warner Bros.' first DCEU hit, Wonder Woman, which became the highest-grossing movie of the summer, and she will next be seen reprising that heroic role next month when Justice League hits theaters. Gal Gadot will almost certainly come back for the Justice League sequel, and Warner Bros. already set a December 13, 2019 release date for Wonder Woman 2. Since Bride of Frankenstein has already been pushed out of its 2019 date, it's possible that Gal Gadot could fit this into her schedule after making the Justice League sequel and Wonder Woman 2, that is, if she's even interested in the role. This report from The Wrap has not yet been confirmed, so hopefully we'll find out more soon.