Based on Universal’s plans for Bill Condon’s ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’, it sounded as though they were positioning this film as the equivalent of Warner Brothers’ ‘Wonder Woman’. But now it seems truer than ever, as reportedly Condon now wants Gal Gadot to play the lead!
For some time now, it’s been heavily rumored that Angelina Jolie would assume the role, played by Elsa Lanchester in the 1935 original, but it seems that Jolie never signed on officially and now comes word that she may be backing out. As it was originally planned, ‘Bride‘ was to start shooting on February 1st, around the time Jolie is slated to begin filming ‘Maleficent 2’.
Just recently, came word that Universal had yanked ‘Bride’ from its original February 14, 2019 release date and that the London pre-production had been put on hold, with the crew told to go home.
According to a statement from Universal:
“After thoughtful consideration, Universal Pictures and director Bill Condon have decided to postpone Bride of Frankenstein. None of us want to move too quickly to meet a release date when we know this special movie needs more time to come together. Bill is a director whose enormous talent has been proven time and again, and we all look forward to continuing to work on this film together.”
According to one insider:
“This is fairly out of nowhere given how deep they were into prep over there, but not really surprising. Their mandate has more or less been that they wanted these to work as PG-rated action movies/theme-park rides, not horror movies. Basically, Fast and the Furious meets The Avengers, but with super monsters.”
Reportedly, David Koepp is sharpening the script. According to initial reports, Jolie and Javier Bardem, who was in talks to play the Monster, were still planning to star, but neither had officially signed on. Now, with the film delayed, Jolie may not be available, in which case Condon would like Gadot for the role.
Reportedly, Universal is very concerned about getting this movie right after ‘The Mummy’ which made $407 million worldwide, but still reportedly lost the studio $95 million and was trashed by critics, with a 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. ‘Bride’ will be the second part of their Dark Universe, which could include up to eight more monster flicks, so it’s crucial the film works.
As for ‘Bride’ itself, Condon discussed Koepp’s take, saying:
“What I love about David Koepp’s script is he turns everything on its head. This is Eve before Adam, the bride comes first. So in its own way, you know, we all know the Bride only exists for 10 minutes in the Whale movie; she’s there and the movie’s over. So I keep thinking [it’s], in a way, at least a tribute to what Whale might have done if he’d made a third Frankenstein movie and he’d done it in the 21st Century. I think there are just things about the sensibility of that movie. Also his genius in solving that basic problem you still see when people approach monster movies now, which is you’ve got to create a monster that you’re afraid of, that you’re terrified of, but you can still identify with, and that line was never walked better than by James Whale.”
According to Condon himself, he isn’t overly concerned with forcing ‘Bride’ into the larger Dark Universe. He is simply focused on making the best monster movie he can.
For the time being, ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ does not have a set release date.