The Dark Universe is deader than the non-living creatures that inhabited it, but Universal is still aiming to make money off of its classic movie monsters. Its first stab at redirecting that effort was the successfully standalone The Invisible Man. It now seems they’re still working on Bride of Frankenstein as well and, curiously, have retained the writing talents of David Koepp for the screenplay. Koepp had been tapped to write for the Dark Universe version of Bride of Frankenstein rumored to star Angelina Jolie, and he was evidently kept on when the universe collapsed.
“That was one thing I did during quarantine – I brought back Bride of Frankenstein into a place where I kind of always wanted it to be,” Koepp told Collider. “Universal was very gracious to let me try again. Because they had geared up and shut down famously in the Dark Universe fiasco. Well, not fiasco, but disappointment. So I have a version now and they have a version that we all really like. I think they’re talking to directors now.”
The screenwriter also revealed that the film would be more in line with the budget-friendly, psychological horror of The Invisible Man than the original big-budget film initially planned. “It’s not the great big, $150 million extravaganza with giant movie stars,” Koepp said. “It’s not as scaled down as Invisible Man but (a) much more reasonable, doable thing, with, I think, a really cool idea and it’s all present day.”
That makes sense given the phenomenal success of The Invisible Man earlier this year, which may go on to be one of the top-grossing films of the year depending on when cinemas open and how many blockbusters Hollywood can shove into them.
It’s interesting that Universal gave Koepp a second chance at the script while its other monster projects, like the upcoming Dracula being directed by Karyn Kusama and the Ryan Gosling-starring Wolfman, landed new creative teams. In fairness, Bride of Frankenstein was so far along that the sets were being built for the film before The Mummy crashed and burned at the box office and derailed the entire Dark Universe.