The Universal Monsters shared universe will include a reboot of The Bride of Frankenstein, and now we have an inkling of what the film might entail.
It comes courtesy of screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man), who has penned a script for a new version of The Bride of Frankenstein but says that he's not sure when it will go into production while the rest of the Universal Monsters slate is being organized (cameras are currently rolling on the first film, The Mummy, due out next June).
Speaking with Collider to promote the new thriller Inferno, which he also scripted, Koepp suggested that his take on The Bride of Frankenstein fits perfectly into the current wave of tentpole-style films like The Hunger Games and Star Wars: The Force Awakens built around female leads:
"It’s one of my favorite scripts I’ve written in years because if you reimagine the Frankenstein story, it gets into so many issues of men trying to feel dominant over women. To create someone who then says, 'You don’t own me,' it becomes a tale of liberation. It was great. It was really fun, and I hope it gets going soon because I think it’d make for a great movie."
That's a far cry from the classic 1935 original, in which Drs. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) spent most of the movie building the Bride (Elsa Lanchester), who emerged in the film's final scene as a catlike creature without the ability to speak. While that movie's image of the Bride is one of pop culture's most iconic, Koepp hinted at something different in his version:
"How fun it is and how liberating it is, narratively and stylistically, to write a character who’s dead. She’s not a zombie. She’s a super-intelligent creature, but she’s dead, and that changes a person’s perspective."
So it sounds like Koepp's female creation will have quite a bit more to say, think and do than in the 1935 edition. The screenwriter also expressed his thoughts on how his movie might fit into the Universal shared universe overall, adding that the studio and filmmaking teams are "figuring that out as they go":
"I was in touch with the other people who were making Mummy and in touch with Universal and getting a sense of what they’re doing, because they can’t be wholly different movies, but each one is characterized by the personality of its creature. So the stories are dictated by the creature. In ours, the Bride is essentially a sympathetic figure. This tragic, hunted figure. And obviously the Mummy is a very bad entity that must be stopped. That’s not us. The troublemakers are the ones who would try to control her. To answer your question, we’re all from the same tree, but different kinds of fruit."
The shared Universal Monsters universe remains one of the biggest question marks of the many similar franchises emerging from Hollywood, but one thing for certain is that we will not be getting straight remakes of movies like The Mummy, The Wolf Man and Frankenstein. There is no release date, director or cast yet attached for The Bride of Frankenstein, but based on Koepp's comments, do you think his tale of "liberation" is an interesting twist on that story for today's audiences?