By Travis Johnson

Did you notice the lack of Dark Universe branding on the recent home release of The Mummy? Yeah, about that…

The one element of Universal’s wildly ambitious shared world monster mash that looked viable was Bill Condon’s take on Bride of Frankenstein, which is surely one of the most perfect matches between creator and project to come along in just about forever. Condon, as you are no doubt aware, directed the sublime Gods and Monsters, wherein Sir Ian McKellan played Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein director James Whale, and was all set to call the shots on an updated version of the latter starring Javier Bardem and Angelina Jolie. But…

“Pre-production had gotten underway in London for a February 1 production start, but the crew has just been told to go home for the time being.” – according to Deadline.

In that same article we learn that both Jolie and Bardem have yet to officially sign on to the project, which is a bit odd considering that Bardem featured prominently in that Dark Universe cast photo a while back:

So, we have no cast locked in, a delayed production start, a script (by David Koepp) in rewrites and a noted muting of what was originally a prominent brand. The official word is that everything is on hold and a new start date will be announced soon. But you can smell the rot – if Bride collapses, that’s probably that for the grand folly that was the Dark Universe.

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