Universal, like most studios in Hollywood right now, is currently working on building out a cinematic universe. Theirs is quite different, though, as they are building one around their classic monsters, which will kick off this summer with Tom Cruise's new take on The Mummy. There is also a reboot of Universal Monsters' Frankenstein in the works and there have been reports that Javier Bardem is in talks to play the famous monster. Now, we have word directly from Bardem that those talks are happening and he is very interested in the part.
The actor is currently promoting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, in which, he plays the villain. CinemaBlend caught up with Javier Bardem at the press junket for the movie and asked him about the Frankenstein rumors. Here's what he had to say about it.
Yeah, well, there are talks. And I would love to be part of it. Because it's an iconic... speaking of an iconic character! I have the size of the head. [Laughs] That's for sure. They're not going to waste a lot of money in makeup, that's for sure."
Last year, Variety reported that Javier Bardem, who has starred in other such movies like Skyfall and No Country For Old Men, was in talks with Universal to star in the new Frankenstein movie. Since then, word on that has been very quiet, but now that has been corroborated and, what's more, is that he seems very enthused about the possibility. As for why there has been such a long delay in getting him cast? It is highly likely that the studio is waiting to see how The Mummy does at the box office, and critically, to see how big the public's appetite is for these new monster movies. If it does well, we will probably hear a lot more announcements about movies like Frankenstein shortly after.
Universal brought on Star Trek writer Alex Kurtzman to develop this interconnected monster universe for them, and they have several films at various stages of development. As mentioned, The Mummy, which is coming out next month, with Russell Crowe also set to appear as Doctor Jekyll in the movie, who looks like he is going to be what Nick Fury is to the MCU for these movies. The studio also has Johnny Depp attached to star in The Invisible Man, as well as new Bride of Frankenstein movie, with Angelina Jolie attached to star at one point. There are also new Van Helsing and Creature From the Black Lagoon movies in the works. So there is a lot riding on The Mummy.
It isn't clear if this monster movie universe is going to work out, but Universal is going after top-notch talent left and right, as evidenced by Javier Bardem being in talks for Frankenstein. With The Mummy currently tracking for a $40 million opening weekend domestically, that may not be quite with the studio was hoping for, but box office tracking has proved unreliable in recent years. So we'll have to wait and see. But if this Frankenstein movie does happen, they have a very talented and very willing actor ready to bring the monster to life for modern audiences.