Universal Pictures' Dark Universe of interconnected monster movie reboots came to an end almost immediately after it started when 2017's The Mummy was a critical and financial disappointment, but writer David Koepp recently noted that he reworked his original script for Bride of Frankenstein to make it more grounded in the present day following the success of this year's The Invisible Man. Koepp connected with ComicBook.com to talk about the upcoming release of You Should Have Left. The filmmaker didn't reveal any details about his new approach to the concept, but it sounds as though the current iteration of the story will be more of a reimagining of the idea more than merely updating the story with contemporary effects.
"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."
The origins of the Dark Universe date back to 2014 with Dracula Untold, which served as an origin story for the most famous vampire in history. That film failed to live up to expectations, though it wasn't billed as being the beginning of a series of reboots. While fans had long known that The Mummy was a reboot of the original 1932 film, it was only weeks before the film hit theaters that Universal announced its Dark Universe, which had Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, and Javier Bardem all attached to various projects. Despite those official announcements, a Bride of Frankenstein reboot was slated to be the next project, with Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon attached.
As the months passed, no updates were given about Bride of Frankenstein, only for it to earn release date delays before it was quietly delayed indefinitely.
When The Invisible Man was announced in 2019, it was made clear that it wouldn't be the project Depp was initially attached to and was meant to be a standalone reimagining and not merely a retelling of a familiar tale. That film's success allowed Koepp to take a new approach to his original idea for the reboot.
"So Bride of Frankenstein, I certainly looked at, and learned from, their Invisible Man experience, and thought, 'How can I make this a present-day story, that’s kind of bold and that people would be interested in and that they can actually make,” the filmmaker added. "So, I felt liberated. So, I liked the way it turned out. We’ll see what happens."
Universal has confirmed that Karyn Kusama will be working on a Dracula reboot while reports claim that Ryan Gosling is developing a new take on The Wolf Man.
Stay tuned for details on Bride of Frankenstein. Koepp's You Should Have Left is available on demand on Friday, June 19.
What do you think of the filmmaker's remarks? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!