5 Directors Who Could Resurrect Universal's The Bride of Frankenstein

Elsa Lanchester in Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
(Image credit: (Universal))

Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man has been sneakily influential on the future of Universal’s classic monster properties in the last handful of months alone. Ever since the small-budget horror film became a hit with audiences, the studio has given the green light to fresh approaches for its iconic characters collecting dust left and right. Ryan Gosling pitched a Wolfman movie in the vein of Nightcrawler, The Invitation’s Karyn Kusama is rebooting Dracula, The Conjuring’s James Wan is working on Frankenstein-esque movie and David Koepp just finished his script for Bride of Frankenstein.

A Bride of Frankenstein remake has been in the works for some time, previously with Beauty and the Beast’s Bill Condon directing and Angelina Jolie portraying the woman who is resurrected to be Frankenstein’s mate. In an exciting recent update, David Koepp, the writer behind Jurassic Park, 2002’s Spider-Man, 2017’s The Mummy and You Should Have Left, as well as guest on the ReelBlend podcast, disclosed details about how his time in quarantine revitalized his previously scrapped project. In his words:

I just gave Universal a new draft about a month ago and they seem to really like it and they’re talking to directors. It’s become the story of how are we extending our lives; can we create life, can we cheat death? It only gets more and more relevant over time. The big life extension work right now that’s being out in Silicon Valley is overwhelming, impressive and scary, and I feel like a present day version of that is begging to be made. The other thing is she is a woman who is not created but resurrected, and certain people feel ownership over her, and that almost too relevant today in the era of #metoo. What are her rights as a person, the person that exists, if you were dead? There are a lot of really interesting questions that are raised.

Universal finally giving Bride of Frankenstein her own movie is an inspired idea that we cannot wait to see come to life. That said, one concern in play is David Koepp’s writing has come with mixed results of late. He was one of the writers on The Mummy, which ended with Universal sinking its plans for an interconnected Dark Universe. You Should Have Left was met with horrendous reviews, and Koepp just stepped away from Indiana Jones 5. Bride of Frankenstein could very well be his masterpiece, but it sounds like the movie needs a solid director; one who might have a specific vision on the film’s timely commentary. Here are some worthy candidates who should be looked at.

Mary Harron

Twenty years ago, one of the most lasting crime dramas was helmed by Mary Harron, and it’s still heavily referenced and remembered today. Harron’s American Psycho adaptation is credited as one of Christian Bale’s key roles that led him to star in the Dark Knight films and a slew of Oscar buzzy flicks. Harron’s attention to the source material that delved into a New York City investment banker’s other psychopathic ego was handled with carefulness and eeriness. The director has since been a guest helmer on a number of shows, made Netflix’s Alias Grace and adapted another crime novel for Charlie Says. We’d love to see the talent take on high-profile material again with Bride of Frankenstein.

Jane Levy in Fede Alvarez's Don't Breathe

(Image credit: (Sony))

Fede Alvarez

One of the standout directors in horror starring female leads in recent years is Fede Alvarez. Before the Uruguayan filmmaker helmed 2018’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web, he made two impressive terrifying thrillers starring Jane Levy: 2016’s Don’t Breathe and the 2013 reboot of Evil Dead. He has given the reins to another director for the Don’t Breathe sequel, making him technically available to add some fright to Bride of Frankenstein with his particular eye, depending on how scary David Koepp made it.

Blake Lively in The Rhythm Section

Reed Morano

Truth be told, Reed Morano’s latest flick, The Rhythm Section, was not the success Paramount was looking for, but that doesn’t mean the director doesn’t deserve another chance. Morano made some impressive directorial choices to the Blake Lively-led espionage movie that could be translated into the similarly tragic story of the Bride of Frankenstein. Besides being an impressive cinematographer, Morano has been involved in The Handmaid’s Tale, which also tackles material this Universal flick seems destined to: the regulation of female bodies for male ownership.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Persian film by Ana Lily Amirpour

(Image credit: (Vice Films))

Ana Lily Amirpour

One of the most intriguing breakout voices in horror within the past decade was Ana Lily Amirpour, who helmed the Iranian vampire western (yes, you heard that right) A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, which was a film festival hit. The film led to Amirpour’s current career directing for Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone series, Castle Rock and Legion in between her continued work on feature films. Amirpour is a great choice for Bride of Frankenstein because she has a quirky and experimental hold on horror that could be great for breathing new life into this character, famously without a unique voice to her.

Angelina Jolie in By The Sea

(Image credit: (Universal))

Angelina Jolie

A particularly inspired choice to direct Bride of Frankenstein has been right in front of Universal already: Angelina Jolie. The actress was previously in talks to star as the Bride of Frankenstein, but she should be considered as the director as well? As a famous actress who has surely felt exploited for her looks or womanhood before, Angelina Jolie could be perfect to direct. The Maleficent star has directed solemn flicks like By the Sea and First They Killed My Father, but it would be fun to see her delve into monster movies. We already know she loves a good dramatic character. She should still star too!

These are just a few picks who could be great for Bride of Frankenstein. There’s a ton of exciting, emerging talent that would fit great into Universal’s vision… it just depends on what exactly that is. Based on what we know about the character, I’d imagine an eerie and dark tale about a woman resurrected in the modern age to serve some kind of purpose and her decision to reject it. What do you think? Are you excited for Bride of Frankenstein to become a movie? Vote in our poll below and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more movie news.

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Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.