A new cinematic universe kicks off next week with the release of The Mummy. Starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella with an appearance by Russell Crowe as the new Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, the action-horror blockbuster is the first entry in the “Dark Universe” franchise. After The Mummy, Universal has at least five more installments in development, and we continue to hear updates on those movies the closer we get to the start.
Here’s one:According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio still wants Angelina Jolie for the title role in The Bride of Frankenstein, which is due out on February 14, 2019, and has Bill Condon directing with Javier Bardem cast as Frankenstein’s Monster. We first heard of the interest in Jolie back in the fall of 2015, and when you’ve got such A-list stars as Cruise, Crowe, Bardem and Johnny Depp (as the Invisible Man), it’s hard to imagine anyone of lesser distinction to join them.
THR clarifies that Jolie is not in any kind of talks for the movie just yet and notes that she might be too expensive for the part. Would it be that big a part, though? As The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman reminded us recently regarding the original, “It’s very strange. It’s an odd, odd movie” in which the Bride doesn’t even show up until the last 10 minutes. It could be a low-cost cameo.
Also mentioned in the THR piece is the rumor that Dwayne Johnson is in the running to be the new Wolf Man for a solo feature about that monster. Johnson, who also played the Scorpion King in a sequel and spin-off to Universal’s last incarnation of The Mummy, has been linked to the franchise since last summer. The studio would appear to be looking at having the most star-studded cinematic universe yet, but if Johnson should be anyone in this franchise it’s the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Kurtzman also told us how excited he is about that monster’s movie, and maybe that will be the next one scheduled. “I love Creature from the Black Lagoon, because in many ways it was the first action-adventure-horror movie, and it really broke new ground in that way.” Johnson just had a box office disappointment with a beach-set movie, though, so maybe going back to an aquatic tale isn’t the right place for him just yet. Still, he also has a monster movie with a giant wolf creature called Rampage on the way.
A little bit of trivia: Two people played the “Gill Man” in the 1954 original Creature from the Black Lagoon, one of them in water and one of them on land, neither of them credited. Lon Chaney Jr. was the longtime Wolf Man, beginning in 1941, while Elsa Lanchester was the original Bride in 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein, directed by James Whale. And Condon made a biopic on Whale, 1998’s Gods and Monsters, in which Lanchester was portrayed by Rosalind Ayres.