The original movie’s biggest message might’ve been “We belong dead,” but the long-discussed Bride of Frankenstein remake—first floated as part of Universal’s famously failed Dark Universe movie series—looks like it might be getting new life.
This report comes courtesy of Variety, which reminds us that back in 2017, the studio was gathering steam on a Bride of Frankenstein film that would’ve starred Angelina Jolie as the title character and Javier Bardem in a supporting role, with Bill Condon directing. Jolie obviously felt like ideal movie-star casting at the time, but Condon was also an excellent get; before he directed multiple Twilight movies and the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake, he won an Oscar for his Gods and Monsters script about legendary director James Whale (whose credits included 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein).
After The Mummy bombed and Universal put the brakes on the Dark Universe, the project stalled. But the studio’s new approach to revamping its classic titles as standalone creative ventures, rather than being beholden to some big interconnected cinematic web (first up: the Elisabeth Moss-starring Invisible Man, which comes out this month), has meant Bride is getting another look.
Variety’s recent update on the film says that producer Amy Pascal is the main force propelling the new take, though it’s too early to say what other names will be involved or if Jolie—read the Variety story for more Hollywood inside baseball on why Jolie and Pascal probably won’t want to work together; it involves that massive Sony email hack a few years back—will still play the lead.
The trade does write that “Pascal has also engaged screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park), who was involved in crafting the defunct Dark Universe pitch for Jolie’s project. Koepp has previously described his vision a liberation tale, about a female monster created for companionship who has quite the opposite in mind,” but noted that nobody involved would offer an official comment.
Given the fresh direction that Universal’s taking its beloved monster tales—aside from Invisible Man, the future slate also includes Paul Feig’s mysterious Dark Army and Elisabeth Banks’ also-mysterious Invisible Woman—we’re intrigued to see what form the new Bride might take. If it’s still going to be “a liberation tale,” we suggest hiring a woman co-writer as a logical first step.