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'Bride of Frankenstein' withdrawn from 2019 film calendar

AFTER The Mummy, the crucial second step in Universal's Monsters Universe franchise has been removed from the studio's schedule to give "this special movie ... more time to come together."

June 2017's action adventure The Mummy, with Tom Cruise at its lead, was supposed to kick off a new era of monster movies featuring Universal's slate of legendary beasts.

The studio has rights to Dracula, Frankenstein, Jekyll & Hyde, the Invisible Man and Werewolf, but a poor critical and box office reception appears to have given executives pause for thought.

With Tom Cruise as military officer Nick Morton, The Mummy also introduced Russell Crowe in the role of Dr. Henry Jekyll.

While they did not appear in that first movie, Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp were previously announced as Frankenstein's Monster and the Invisible Man respectively, all pulled together under a Dark Universe banner.

The historical box office clout of Cruise, Crowe, Depp and Bardem is not in doubt, with the first three's films having pulled in a combined US$22.5 billion (RM95.4 billion) worldwide.

Yet – discounting Sofia Boutella, whose character's future is less certain than the project's other principals – the actors' average age is a decade or more older than those of the solo film leads from Marvel's Avengers, DC's Justice League and the ensemble from Universal's own Fast & Furious, leading to doubts about the Dark Universe's currency and longevity.

As for Bride of Frankenstein, it appears to remain without a co-star. Angelina Jolie has been linked with the project but has not signed on.

The Oscar-winning actress, who received her statuette for 1999's Girl, Interrupted and a nomination for The Changeling, is becoming increasingly prolific as a director and producer with September's Cambodian war doc First They Killed My Father and November's Afghanistan-based animated drama The Breadwinner releasing in 2017.

She has also agreed to a Maleficent sequel; Disney's 2014 fairy-tale retelling generated US$758 million in international box office receipts.

The scheduling readjustment puts further doubt over her involvement in Bride of Frankenstein, with director Bill Condon reportedly raising the possibility of a replacement lead actress in Wonder Woman and Justice League star Gal Gadot.

Condon directed Frankenstein-adjacent Gods and Monsters for Universal in 1998, reaping a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar as a result, and Mar 2017's Beauty and the Beast is currently the 10th highest grossing feature film of all time.

"Condon and the other filmmakers have been in a holding pattern waiting for Jolie to commit to the project or pass," suggests The Wrap, citing movie insiders. "His next 'Bride of Frankenstein' ... is Gal Gadot."Read more at:year 12 formal dresses | short formal dresses australia

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