EXCLUSIVE: Bill Condon, who directed the live-action Beauty and the Beast into a $1B+ worldwide box office monster for Disney, is in early talks to take the helm of a remake of a film in the Universal Pictures monster universe. We hear that Condon and Uni are both excited to collaborate on The Bride of Frankenstein, which Condon has said in previous interviews is one of his favorite classic monster movies of all time. The original, which starred Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff, was directed by James Whale back in 1935.
Condon, in fact, is known to have included a kind of homage to Whale’s film in the climax of his Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, with one character reviving another and turning her into a monster to save her life. In addition, he won an Oscar in 1999 for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film that featured Whale (portrayed by Ian McKellen) in Gods and Monsters, which he also directed.
The Bride of Frankenstein project in the hands of Condon gives it to a director who has a phenomenal commercial and quality track record to boot.
Not only is Condon a great writer (he was also nominated for an Oscar for Chicago), but he has helmed some very high-grossing pictures. Those include the aforementioned Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Part 2, which together made more than $1.5B worldwide.
The Bride of Frankenstein remake is being produced by Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan from a script by David Koepp (Uni’s first two Jurassic Park films) that is said to have kind of a feminist bent to the new story (yes!). The studio has been mining its monster IP goldmine with remakes for years. Their classic monsters go back to the Karloff, Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi films from the 1920s and ’30s. The next remake up is The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe, which Uni opens June 9.
Condon is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and lawyer Wayne Alexander at Alexander, Lawrence, Frumes & Labowitz.