Good news, monster fans: it looks like Javier Bardem may don the famed flat top as Universal’s new creature created by Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Before we go any further, it should be pointed out that while Variety reported the news and stated that Bardem would portray “Frankenstein,” reporting journalist Justin Kroll later took to Twitter to clarify that he meant Frankenstein’s monster, not Victor, the creator himself (I’m throwing monster nerd side-eye at you for that one, Variety). If the deal goes through, The Creature would appear in another Universal monster movie first before likely getting his own spin-off. This is interesting considering we’ve seen The Creature’s origin story so frequently in the Universal monster movies, is the studio assuming that we all know and recognize him by now and we can skip that step? Something tells me, that’s not likely…
(Nerdist has reached out for comment on the matter and will update the post as more information becomes available.)
Bardem is no stranger to playing menacing figures, winning an Academy Award for his portrayal of killing machine Anton Chigurh in the Coen Brothers 2007 Best Picture winner No Country For Old Men. Variety also notes that Bardem was first approached to play the iconic Dr. Jekyll (and assuming his alter-ego the villainous Mr. Hyde, as well) but passed; that role went to two-time Oscar winner Russell Crowe. We, personally, couldn’t be more pleased with the way it all worked out: we’re ready to see Crowe embrace his inner brute and unleash the crazy, while Bardem could potentially dive into a mostly silent, emotive performance in the tradition of Karloff’s that made the Universal Frankenstein monster one of the great classic characters.
While it remains to be seen how any of these films turn out, I have to say, Universal is signing up the best of the best that Hollywood has to offer for this franchise. Tom Cruise is currently shooting The Mummy with Kingsman‘s Sofia Boutella playing the titular baddie and Johnny Depp is onboard for The Invisible Man. There were rumors that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in talks for The Wolfman, that Angelina Jolie was approached for The Bride of Frankenstein, and Scarlett Johansson for The Creature from the Black Lagoon but none of those stories became solidified. Come on, Universal, don’t forget about your lady monster movie stars, too!
In any case, one thing fans who may have been slightly skeptical can take solace in is that Universal not only seems to be locking in big time movie stars, but top-tier acting talent, as well. Here’s hoping they take their time and develop strong, tragic, and scary characters and hit the home run that these movies really could be.
Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures