Angelina Jolie is an actress with a varied, genre-blitzing résumé. She seems to have done it all in her career, and many credit the actress for her flexibility, both in front of and behind the camera. Ever the busy thespian, rumor has it that she is about to add to that prestigious list with one of cinema’s most iconic characters, with details circulating that Jolie is being considered for the lead in Universal’s The Bride of Frankenstein reboot.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Angelina Jolie is said to be the studio’s first choice to lead the modern re-imagining of the iconic 1935 movie. Universal has worked with the actress in developing her passion project, By the Sea, which was recently released to poor reviews and a potential box-office loss. Jolie and husband Brad Pitt have worked on this movie for some time, but Universal’s risk and willingness to bring the film to light may hold an obligation for Jolie, one that will see her repay their faith in either The Bride of Frankenstein or the much-anticipated sequel to 2008 action movie Wanted. Remember, Universal also backed another Jolie directorial effort last year in Unbroken. This relationship could be the starting point for Jolie to feature as one of cinema’s most culturally iconic characters.
There’s also the likely notion that Universal noticed Angelina Jolie’s star power in Disney’s Maleficent in 2014. The film was a huge hit, raking in $758 million at the box-office, and there’s no secret that the theme and appeal between Disney’s dark fairy and Bride are similar. Let’s not forget that the Bride was given very little screen time in the original movie, so Jolie’s potential attachment indicates that the modern version will be retweaked slightly to feature her as a more prominent character. Reworking a classic in this way might put a frown on some people’s faces, but the character has seen little cinematic exposure since the ’30s, so bringing her to the modern audience might allow this to slide somewhat.
Universal has been trying to remake The Bride of Frankenstein for many years now but have been thwarted at every attempt. The closest to a remake was The Bride in 1985, a film starring Sting as Baron Frankenstein, who creates a female mate for his monster, Eva. Loosely adapted from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the film was met with an overwhelmingly negative reaction, and the character has remained dormant since. However, Universal were not behind this loose remake, Columbia Pictures were, so fans can remain hopeful.
Universal is planning a “cinematic universe” based on its rights to several classic horror characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It will have to treat the subject matter carefully, though. The original The Bride of Frankenstein was a sequel to 1931’s Frankenstein, both of which were directed by James Whale. The latter is considered a masterpiece of the genre, and the director’s best movie. Both films also starred the legendary Boris Karloff, the actor who first brought many horror legends to life on the big screen. Recapturing the magic of the original movies will be tough in modern horror cinema, but with Jolie as a potential lead, Universal might consider it achievable.
If Jolie isn’t keen on another horror role, they always have the sequel to Wanted on their books. The first film was a huge success in 2008 and starred James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Terence Stamp. The film grossed $341.4 million at the box office and introduced the world to a young, up-and-coming Chris Pratt. In the movie, Jolie played Fox, a member of a covert assassin clan that chooses its targets via The Loom of Fate. The sequel has been in development hell for some years now, and Universal is desperate to bring the franchise back to life. The actress still remains a vital cog in Hollywood and remains a huge box-office draw with the correct pitch or plot, so she might be swayed to feature in one more outing.
As revealed by the Guardian, the actress confirmed that she no longer enjoys the acting element of her career and sees her future behind the camera.
“I’ve never been comfortable as an actor; I’ve never loved being in front of the camera. I didn’t ever think I could direct, but I hope I’m able to have a career at it because I’m much happier.”
Whether or not this will influence her decision, it remains to be seen. Expect more news of The Bride of Frankenstein to emerge as it becomes public knowledge.
[Image via Columbia Pictures]