Things weren’t supposed to be this way. Universal has long been known for their hold on the classic monsters, such as Dracula, The Mummy and Frankenstein, and when it was announced that plans for a cinematic universe surrounding them were on the way, people got excited. Especially when those plans included the likes of Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe, Angelina Jolie and Javier Bardem. Unfortunately for Universal The Mummy crashed and burned this summer (making only $409 million worldwide on a budget rumoured to be higher than $125 million) after its release, and now it appears as if the plans to move forward may be scrapped.
Writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan were hired on to run the monster universe, and now according to The Hollywood Reporter, both have departed for other projects. At the start of October The Bride of Frankenstein had begun pre-production for what was to be the second entry into the universe, but it’s now been stopped. Writer-director Bill Condon is still attached to the project, but his script apparently needs work. There is no timeline for the work to be completed either, and the planned Feburary 2019 release date has been let go. Angelina Jolie at one point had been rumoured to be in the running to star, but is no longer attached. Where this leaves the films that were supposed to follow Bride of Frankenstein is anyone’s guess.
With the Fast and Furious franchise still performing for Universal, and Star Trek having become a hit on television once again, this probably means Universal will put their focus on them instead. Fast and Furious is already getting a spin-off starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, before the next entry in the main series hits screens, and Star Trek’s success on TV may lead to more cinematic adventures for the franchise. It’s all about making something people want to see after all, and continuing with what works, and discarding what doesn’t.