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Bride of Frankenstein Resurrected

Universal revive classic monsters

It looks as if Universal are already casting around for follow-ups to this year's Benecio Del Toro starrer The Wolfman. Clearly the venerable studio is looking to open up the vaults and dust of its classic monsters, with reports coming in that first off the blocks may be The Bride of Frankenstein.

A new version of James Whale's 1935 classic has been in various stages of development for some years. Most recently the writers of American Splendour, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, were attached to an updated take on the material.

But the project has now found its way to Illusionist director Neil Burger and screenwriter Dick Wittenborn.

There are, of course, plenty of screen adaptations of Mary Shelley's original novel, with another one in preparation by Guillermo Del Toro. But James Whale's sequel to the 1931 Universal version was an original screenplay by William Hurlbut: in the novel, the Monster asks Frankenstein to build him a mate, but Frankenstein destroys it before bringing it to life.

It was very loosely remade once before, as 1985's woeful The Bride, starring Jennifer Beals, Clancy Brown and Sting. There were also elements in Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in 1994, when Branagh's Victor Frankenstein suddenly decides to stitch Helena Bonham Carter's head onto the body of Trevyn McDowell.

So remake-wise, Burger and Wittenborn have nothing to live up to but the tragic, witty, beautiful original. Those are very big shoes to fill.

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