Javier Bardem Weighs in on the Dark Universe and His Frankenstein

Back in 2017, the Tom Cruise-starring The Mummy was meant to kick off a shared universe of Universal Monsters reboot movies, with the studio even announcing a number of actors who were slated to take over iconic roles. At the time, Javier Bardem was attached to play Frankenstein's Monster, but the disappointing financial and critical response to The Mummy prevented the Dark Universe from moving forward. With no updates on the project, including no official confirmation that the project was dead, Bardem recently confirmed he hasn't heard any updates yet still has the desire to take on the role.

"I haven't heard anything about it, so I don't know what's the state of that," Bardem shared with Sirius XM's The Jess Cagle Show. "Me personally, I would love to play Frankenstein. Actually, I would like to play both -- Dr. Frankenstein and Frankenstein the monster. Because it's the dichotomy and the contradiction of one, 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."

Following The Mummy, director Bill Condon was slated to helm a new take on Bride of Frankenstein, which likely would have incorporated Bardem's take on Frankenstein's Monster in some capacity. Despite Condon and the studio offering updates on the project over the years, no casting was ever announced for the titular character and the release date would regularly get pushed back.

In 2020, filmmaker Leigh Whannell delivered audiences The Invisible Man, which wasn't connected to the original plans to revive the character within the Dark Universe. The film was such a success, however, it entirely reignited interest in the Universal Monsters, resulting in a number of revival projects being announced that featured those characters, including multiple projects featuring Dracula, as well as a revival of The Wolf Man.

Writer David Koepp had written the script for the Condon-directed Bride of Frankenstein, who claimed last year that the project wasn't entirely dead.

"It's definitely standalone. Universal famously tried this idea of great big connected horror movies in a thing, and it didn't work, and it didn't work really spectacularly," Koepp shared with ComicBook.com. "And I was impressed that they stood back and said, 'Hang on, let's give this a year or two and really think about it, and come at these in a singular way, and see what filmmakers ... let's listen to filmmakers with distinctive points of view.' And I think the first one that really broke through is [producer] Jason's [Blum] Invisible Man, which was made as a really well-thought, and well-conceived idea that existed completely on its own. And it was made for a reasonable amount of money, which actually gives you more creative freedom, rather than less. And I think that kind of showed the way that they can go with some of their things."

Stay tuned for details on the potential future of the Dark Universe.

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