David Koepp‘s new film, haunted house thriller You Should Have Left starring Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried, opens on demand this week, distributed by Universal. But what about the status of his other project for the studio, Bride Of Frankenstein?
The film was originally intended as a major part of Universal’s bungled Dark Universe. It would have been the second movie in the interconnected universe following Tom Cruise vehicle The Mummy, but following the disastrous performance of that film, director Bill Condon bailed, the release date was pulled, and Dark Universe architects Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan exited.
Despite that, Bride Of Frankenstein is still reportedly alive. Koepp told Collider he was able to re-jig the script during quarantine: “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”.
It’s no longer being looked at as a $150 million blockbuster, but something more in line with The Invisible Man. “It’s not as scaled down as Invisible Man but much more reasonable, doable thing, with, I think, a really cool idea and it’s all present day”, Koepp added.
Re-jigging the project into something akin to Leigh Whannell‘s film makes a lot more sense than the original Dark Universe plan for Bride Of Frankenstein. If the film does indeed go ahead, expect it to sit alongside other Universal/Blumhouse films in the same vain, like Karyn Kusama‘s planned Dracula.
The direction the studio smartly shifted to – with smaller budgets, allowing directors more freedom and creativity, and an emphasis on horror – has already paid off. We’ll wait and see if Bride Of Frankenstein can continue this impressive run.