In addition, the studio confirmed today what Deadline exclusively reported last month: Beauty and the Beast‘s Bill Condon is locked in to direct Bride of Frankenstein, which will be the next Dark Universe title following The Mummy, set for release on February 14, 2019 — a day that Uni already had reserved on the calendar for a monster title. David Koepp will write Bride. As such, Uni will not release a Dark Universe title as previously planned on April 13, 2018. The actress portraying the Bride will be announced soon.
In a tentpole era where franchises are prized, the Dark Universe is a compelling concept by Universal to tap into its own classic IP.
To mark this franchise going forward, the studio has unveiled a new motion logo designed by Weta Digital and a musical theme by Danny Elfman that will play before each film starting with The Mummy. See it in action in the above clip.
Uni also dropped a photo this morning with the stars of both imminent and future Dark Universe features gathered for the first time: From left are Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s monster, Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton, Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man and Sofia Boutella as the Mummy. It’s Jekyll’s mysterious multi-national org Prodigium that connects all titles in the Dark Universe. Its mission is to track, study and sometimes destroy evil monsters. Prodigium works outside all governments and protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists in society.
“We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion that has inspired the reimagining of Universal’s iconic monsters and promise audiences we will expand this series strategically,” Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley said in a statement. “The enterprise masterfully developed by Chris (Morgan) and Alex (Kurtzman) will allow each subsequent chapter the right time to find the perfect cast, filmmakers and vision to fulfill it. As we launch Dark Universe with Danny’s provocative theme before The Mummy and collaborate with a brilliant filmmaker like Bill to weave the story of a very modern woman in a very classic tale, we feel confident we’re off to a tremendous start.”
Said Dark Universe architects Kurtzman and Morgan, who are also working with Christopher McQuarrie and David Koepp: “When Universal approached us with the idea of reimagining these classic characters, we recognized the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures. The studio and our fellow creative collaborators have championed and challenged us as we’ve begun to spin the web of Dark Universe. It’s our hope these movies will engross longtime fans and spark the imaginations of brand-new ones.”
Said Condon: “I’m very excited to bring a new Bride of Frankenstein to life on screen, particularly since James Whale’s original creation is still so potent. The bride of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monsters in film history, and that’s a testament to Whale’s masterpiece, which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made.”
Previously, Uni’s The Mummy series spread across four titles including 2002 spinoff The Scorpion King grossed a combined $1.4 billion at the global box office. Other pre-Dark Universe-era monster movies from Universal include Dracula Untold ($217.1M worldwide) and The Wolfman ($140M worldwide).