I’m a big pop culture history nerd, and love it when publishers and studios make a big deal out of celebrating the anniversaries of their characters. It gives people a little hook into talking about the history of the stories and characters we love, and more importantly — the people who created them. History is also necessary to the notion of a capital-U Universe, in that fictional sense that everyone wants to talk about now. Yeah, it may be pedantic to point out that Wonder Woman is lifting a tank from the wrong war on an otherwise spectacular piece of artwork, and yet, and yet… without a strong sense of history, an idea of how everything fits together, your Universe will quickly dissolve into a structure-less primoridal mass — just a fleeting moment in time. This is why the comic publishers do reboots every few years, and why fans care about the details of how they do them.
To their credit, DC Comics and Marvel have both done a pretty good job in marking their important anniversaries in recent decades, and even though this isn’t Universal’s anniversary in a company-history sense, I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow when I noticed that they had reserved a 2018 date for an untitled monster movie (or as they call it now, Dark Universe movie). Mary Shelley‘s 1818 publication of Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus is in a real sense the leading edge of a fictional wavefront that would change the world in the decade of the 1860s. In that decade, the planet connected itself up with submarine telegraphs and transcontinental railroads and we had sort of a proto-internet transformation event that lead to pop culture as we know it. But Shelley gave us a little taste of that much earlier, in a way that was not myth, legend, or fairy tail, but combined such things with science and projected them forward into the future.
In their Dark Universe PR yesterday, Universal set a February 14, 2019 date for Bride of Frankenstein and noted that it will not release a Dark Universe film in 2018 as previously planned. One can’t rush these things of course, and Bride of Frankenstein is not Frankenstein anyway, but it still feels like a little bit of an opportunity lost. Ah well, we’ll be talking about Frankenstein quite a bit here on Bleeding Cool in 2018 regardless.