We now officially have our second Universal Monsters movie with a director. While the studio put into motion plans to build an interconnected Universal Monsters universe a few years ago, overseen by writers/producers Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) and Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious), the impending release of the Kurtzman-helmed The Mummy is the only film in the works that actually has a director. But now Deadline reports that filmmaker Bill Condon, fresh off the massive success of Beauty and the Beast, is in talks to take the helm of Bride of Frankenstein, meaning this could be the second Universal Monsters movie out of the gate.
Condon has experience in the blockbuster realm with the aforementioned Beauty and the Beast, Dreamgirls, and the final two Twilight movies, but he’s also navigated serious dramatic territory with movies like Mr. Holmes and, perhaps most apt, Gods and Monsters. That 1998 film nabbed Condon an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, as the story focused on the troubled life of director James Whale, the man who helmed the original Bride of Frankenstein. So Condon obviously has a strong connection to the original film, and he’s red-hot at the moment as Beauty and the Beast just crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office.
Bride of Frankenstein currently has a script by veteran screenwriter David Koepp (Spider-Man, Jurassic Park), who previously told us the film is a story of female liberation with a strong feminist bent:
“I loved it. 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… 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.”
This sounds great, and Condon is certainly a versatile director, so I’m really curious to see how this film progresses. At an early stage Universal was courting Angelina Jolie to star and direct, and no doubt that lead role will be highly coveted. This also signals that this is likely Universal’s next monster movie after The Mummy. They’ve been developing scripts for The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Van Helsing and others, but Bride is now the first with a director.