David Koepp Says His ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ Script Is a Tale of Female Liberation

It appears like the Universal Monsters franchise will begin in earnest next year (Dracula Untold being resigned to the trashcan of history) with The Mummy, and the studio has hired writers for Van Helsing, The Wolfman, and The Bride of Frankenstein. Writing duties on the new Bride are being handled by Jurassic Park screenwriter David Koepp.

Steve Weintraub recently spoke to Koepp for the screenwriter’s latest film, Inferno starring Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones. During their conversation, they talked about Bride of Frankenstein. Keopp confirmed that he did a draft of the script, but he doesn’t know when the film is getting in front of cameras:

DAVID KOEPP: Yes, I wrote a draft of that that seems to have gone over very well, and I think they’re figuring out their whole universe and when it will go. They got a few they’ve got to work on.

Image via Universal Pictures

Steve pointed out that there’s been a surge lately of successful franchise films with female protagonists, and wanted to get Koepp’s thoughts on contributing another blockbuster to the ranks of Star Wars, Frozen, and Hunger Games:

KOEPP: 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.

I think that’s an interesting spin on the character, and one that gives her more of the limelight. It’s important to remember that as good as Bride of Frankenstein is, the titular Bride doesn’t appear until the third act of the movie. A lot of cool stuff happens before then, but the movie largely belongs to Frankenstein, The Monster, and Dr. Pretorius.

Koepp couldn’t give many details about the plot, but he did set up an interesting depiction of the Bride:

Image via Universal Pictures

What can you tease people about it for fans of the original or for fans of the monster movies at Universal?

KOEPP: 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.

When asked if this movie is meant to be more in line with other Universal Monster movies or if it has the freedom to be its own thing, Koepp replied:

KOEPP: You get some of both, and I think they’re 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.

There’s currently no release date on Bride of Frankenstein, and we don’t know yet if the film will have to wait until Universal establishes a Frankenstein movie. The Mummy is set to open June 9, 2017.

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