‘The Bride’: A Look at Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Upcoming ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ Remake Starring Christian Bale and Peter Sarsgaard

Maggie Gyllenhaal

After years of development difficulties, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s remake of the classic monster film Bride of Frankenstein is slowly coming together. The movie, which is still listed as “Untitled Maggie Gyllenhaal Project” on IMDB, is rumored to be going by the title The Bride!. Production is slated to begin in early 2024 in New York..

Here is everything that has been revealed so far about the highly anticipated remake!

The Bride of Frankenstein Remake in the Works at Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. is now on board to distribute the upcoming film after Netflix backed out of the project in August 2023. The movie will be the latest iteration of the classic The Bride of Frankenstein. The original film was released in 1935 and starred screen legend Boris Karloff as Frankenstein with Elsa Lanchester as the bride.

Maggie Gyllenhaal will direct the flick, which she also wrote the screenplay for.  This project would mark Gyllenhaal’s second time in the director’s chair. She made her directorial debut with 2021’s The Lost Daughter, which went on to earn three Oscar nominations.

Gyllenhaal is also producing the film alongside Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Talia Kleinhendler, and Osnant Handelsman-Keren. Courtney Kivowitz and Carla Raij will be executive producing the remake.

Fun Fact: Universal has long sought to have another iteration of The Bride of Frankenstein. They hoped the film would be part of the Universal Dark Universe alongside their other iconic monster movies, including Dracula, The Mummy, and The Wolfman. However, plans to continue the Dark Universe were scrapped when the 2017 The Mummy was a critical and commercial failure. 

What Will the Plot Be?

What Gyllenhaal’s The Bride of Frankenstein remake will be about exactly remains to be seen. However, it has been confirmed that it will not directly follow the plot of the original film. It’s expected that the story will take place in Chicago in the 1930s. And, it will likely focus more on the chaos that the Bride causes.

Deadline has reported that the logline for The Bride! is as follows:

“A lonely Frankenstein travels to 1930s Chicago to seek the aid of a Dr. Euphronius in creating a companion for himself. The two reinvigorate a murdered young woman, and the Bride is born. She is beyond what either of them intended, igniting a combustible romance, the attention of the police, and a wild and radical social movement.”

However, the remake’s description on Production Notice reads:

“The storyline will center on a 1930s investigation into the enigmatic Bride of Frankenstein, evoking the atmosphere of a classic film noir.”

In the original film, Dr. Henry Frankenstein’s mentor, Dr. Septimus Pretorius, calls on Henry to help him create a partner for the monster. Henry reluctantly agrees but is blackmailed and threatened by his mentor and the monster into doing so.

At the time of its release, The Bride of Frankenstein was both critically and commercially successful. Critics saw the film as one of the rare sequels that were better than the original.

Christian Bale
Photo Credit: Loredana Sangiuliano

A Star-Studded Cast

Gyllenhaal has assembled an impressive cast led by Oscar-winner Christian Bale and Peter Sarsgaard. Earlier this month, legendary actress Annette Bening was revealed to have joined the ensemble as well in an undisclosed role. And, Penélope Cruz and Jessie Buckley have signed onto the project as well.

Bale is said to be portraying Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive played the mad doctor in the 1935 movie). Buckley is set to play the iconic Bride herself, while Cruz is believed to be playing a character named Myrna. Sarsgaard takes on the role of a detective. And, no word yet on who Bening will be portraying.

The Bride of Frankenstein Remake Release Date Speculation

Since many details about The Bride of Frankenstein are still unclear (and filming won’t officially begin till March 18), there’s no official release date yet.

IMDB listed the film as being in pre-production on January 12, 2024. Knowing that it will likely continue filming until June 2024, it’s safe to speculate that a 2025 to early 2026 release window is likely. 

Coincidentally, Gyllenhaal’s The Bride of Frankenstein will be sharing the same spotlight as the recent surge of Frankenstein-related projects. Aside from 2023’s Poor Things, there is also Diablo Cody’s Lisa Frankenstein directed by Zelda Williams. That film will be released on February 9, 2024. Then there’s Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Netflix project, Frankenstein, which will star Jacob Elorid, Oscar Isaac, Christoph Waltz, Mia Goth, and Felix Kemmerer.

We’ll keep this post updated as more news on the project surfaces.

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