Javier Bardem thinks he’s the perfect actor to play Frankenstein’s Monster in the remake of Bride of Frankenstein. Though the artificial being was first conceived in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Universal Studios’ loose 1931 film adaptation provided the creature’s visual template that remains ingrained in popular culture today. Though that movie found tremendous success, the 1935 sequel Bride of Frankenstein is widely considered to be its superior, as well as one of the greatest horror films ever made.
Bardem was first attached to the role in 2017, with Universal planning for the remake to feature in their Dark Universe, an interconnected series of films based around their roster of iconic movie monsters. David Koepp and Bill Condon were reportedly set to write and direct the project, respectively, while Angelina Jolie was attached to play the Bride. However, once the Dark Universe’s first feature, 2017’s The Mummy, proved dead-on-arrival, initial plans for the shared continuity were scrapped and the film’s future was left unsettled.
Amidst rumors that the Bride of Frankenstein remake was still in development, Bardem tells SiriusXM that he would still love to play the legendary movie monster, joking that he has the right head-shape for the part. However, while he has read the same speculation that he is still in line to star in the film, he says he has not been contacted since the previous plans fell through. If he doesn’t end up in the role, Bardem says, there’s only one other actor he thinks could reasonably replace him:
I’m for sure- differently from Desi Arnaz (in Being the Ricardos), in this one, I give the type: I have the looks, I have the head, that’s nice, that’s for sure. But, that comes from the… monster universe, and it went down, and I haven’t- I’ve read myself that it’s going to happen, but I haven’t heard anything about it, so I don’t know what’s the state of that. Me personally, I would love to play Frankenstein. I mean, actually, I would like to play both Doctor Frankenstein and Frankenstein the monster, because it’s a dichotomy, and the contradiction of one [and] the same being. But, I don’t know if that’s going to be the case or not. As far as I know, it’s not happening… Maybe somebody else is doing it, and some other actor, but the only one that I will recall that could do Frankenstein is Josh Brolin. He has the same size head as me… With some screws in our forehead, it could work.
Though The Mummy flopped, Blumhouse and director Leigh Whannell proved with 2020’s The Invisible Man that there remained an audience for creative re-imaginings of Universal’s classic monster movies, and multiple projects have since been revived. Koepp said back in 2020 that his Bride of Frankenstein project was still alive and being shopped to directors, but other than Scarlett Johansson reportedly sliding into the titular role, little news has emerged since. Based on Bardem’s comments, if development on the film has still been progressing, it has been without his involvement, possibly indicative of a new direction for the remake.
Other Universal monster movies, meanwhile, are healthily moving towards completion. In another collaboration with Blumhouse, Ryan Gosling is set to star in a remake of The Wolf Man, while Nicolas Cage recently discussed his playing Dracula in director Chris McKay’s Renfield. Should fans want to see Bardem in the iconic role, they had better start making noise online before the Bride of Frankenstein remake finds another lead actor.
Next: Every Upcoming Universal Monster Movie (& Which Were Canceled)
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