Although the so-called “Dark Universe” reboot of the classic monsters might be dead as a shared universe concept, Universal isn’t dropping development on individual films based on their iconic creature features. One of the proposed films from the Dark Universe was a remake of The Bride of Frankenstein, starring Angelina Jolie in the title role. The film never came to pass, and seemed to die on the vine. But according to a report coming from Variety, there just might be some undead life in this film yet.
According to the report, producer Amy Pascal, who recently left Sony and moved over to Universal last year, is championing the Bride of Frankenstein remake as one of her first projects. Jurassic Park and Spider-Man screenwriter David Koepp is someone she has approached about writing the script, and she has also seemingly tried to enlist Sam Raimi to direct. But it seems Marvel Studios snagged Raimi for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness first. The original director for Bride was said to be Bill Condon, who was making Beauty and the Beast at the time. He has since moved on to direct other projects.
But what about Angelina Jolie? According to the report, she’s still interested in the role. But the big difference between the old Dark Universe and the newer remakes is that they seem to be going for a much lower budget this time around. The upcoming Invisible Man starring Elizabeth Moss is being made on a shoestring budget, for only $7 million. This almost guarantees a profit for the studio. But how do you get an A-list actor like Angelina Jolie to star in a low-budget horror movie? It’s not impossible, but it seems unlikely given her Oscar winner status.
Whether or not Jolie does star in the upcoming film, in the case of the Bride, Universal should definitely lean into the classic look from the 1936 movie by James Whale. Although Elsa Lanchester only appeared on-screen for a handful of minutes towards the very end of the film, her face became instantly iconic. Over eight decades later, the skunk striped hairdo and the flowing white gown have been the subject of Halloween decorations and costumes, along with some incredible cosplay. You get Jolie or another well-known actress in that look for your marketing, and you possibly have a Maleficent-sized hit on your hands.
The Bride of Frankenstein isn’t the only classic Universal Studios Monster that they are looking to find new life in. In addition to the upcoming remake of The Invisible Man, a Dark Army film is also in the works, with Paul Feig attached to direct. The film will reportedly feature several characters from the Universal Monsters library. So this could be something akin to a modern version of The Monster Squad. Given their iconic status at the studio, it is wise for Universal to try to find some way to make those concepts work in a modern context. Hopefully with this new approach, Frankenstein’s bride will then finally come alive again at last.
Featured Image: Universal Pictures