Women's agency in films and filmmaking has come into sharp focus following the development of the #MeToo movement to out Hollywood's serial predators. In a recent interview with Tales From the Boo Crew podcast, filmmaker David Koepp, who is penning the script for a remake of 1935's Bride of Frankenstein explained how the modern take on the horror classic takes its cue from Silicon Valley and #MetToo.
"I just gave Universal a new draft about a month ago and they seem to really like it and they're talking to directors. It's become the story of how are we extending our lives; can we create life, can we cheat death? It only gets more and more relevant over time. The big life extension work right now that's being out in Silicon Valley is overwhelming, impressive, and scary, and I feel like a present-day version of that is begging to be made."
"The other thing is she is a woman who is not created but resurrected, and certain people feel ownership over her, and that almost too relevant today in the era of #metoo. What are her rights as a person, the person that exists, if you were dead? There are a lot of really interesting questions that are raised. Again, it's horror effortlessly lending itself to metaphor."
The original Bride of Frankenstein was born out of a minor subplot in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein novel, where the tormented doctor is forced to create a mate for the monster he had created in his lab. The film was a huge success, and efforts to reboot the premise for modern times have been going on for years. At one point, Angelina Jolie was attached to play the lead role of the bride, back when Universal Pictures had ambitious plans to launch their own Dark Universe made up of classic horror movie monsters.
Then Dracula Untold and Tom Cruise's The Mummy films crashed and burned at the box-office, scuppering Universal's plans. The studio redirected their energies to create smaller, unconnected horror thrillers. The first of these offerings, a remake of The Invisible Man starring Elizabeth Moss as the tortured girlfriend of an abusive ex who has learned to make himself invisible, was met with great critical acclaim and box office success.
David Koepp has previously mentioned that the upcoming Bride of Frankenstein will be taking its cue from The Invisible Man in having a medium budget and focusing on character-based horror instead of fancy locations and special effects.
By positioning Bride of Frankenstein as a #MeToo story about a resurrected woman taking back control of her life that has been laid claim over by men, Koepp can make the movie socially relevant in a way that few horror films get to be. Such an approach would also put the film, along with The Invisible Man at the forefront of a new cinematic franchise that is headlined by strong, compelling female characters, something that hasn't been seen since the days when The Hunger Games franchise was at its peak.