Universal is determined to plug ahead with remakes of their classic monster movies even though the only one that’s made it to the big screen, Dracula Untold, tanked and vanished. And yet the studio is gearing up for The Mummy with Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella and now they’re turning their attention to Bride of Frankenstein by bringing on David Koepp.
Variety reports that Koepp will follow the lead of the “narrative architects” Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) and Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious), and that the new iteration of Bride of Frankenstein will take place in the present day “in order for the film’s characters to have cross-over capabilities with other monster movies.”
Keep in mind that there’s still no new Frankenstein, or at least, no new Frankenstein tied into this particular Universal Monsters universe (probably because movies like I, Frankenstein and Victor Frankenstein bombed so goddamn hard that the name is almost box office poison). It’s possible Kurtzman and Morgan are brainstorming one and a screenwriting announcement is immanent, but they’ll have to rope in a bigger name than the writer-director of Premium Rush to get people excited for yet another go around on the Frankenstein mythos.
Bride is even trickier. It’s arguably the greatest sequel ever made, which is saying something since the 1931 Frankenstein is an undeniable classic. While I don’t have a problem doing a big monster mash, and Bride has the potential to do some interesting things if it’s set in the modern day, Koepp’s work doesn’t explode with creativity. He makes middle-of-the-road pictures, and that’s fine, but his name doesn’t inspire confidence.
Then again, this whole Universal Monsters reboot hasn’t been particularly exciting from the start. Dracula Untold was a shrug of a beginning (if they even choose to count it as their beginning; they could discard it completely and no one would be the wiser), and it all just comes off as a race to create a crossover universe. If Universal has learned anything from their record-breaking year, it should be they don’t necessarily need to play by other studios’ rules to find success. Just because crossovers work with superheroes, that doesn’t mean we need to do it with movie monsters.