Scarlett Johansson Will Star in Bride of Frankenstein Update

If you had a shred of hope that any part of the next attempt at reviving the Universal Monsters franchise would be fun, I have some bad news for you. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scarlett Johansson will star in and produce Bride, an updated version of The Bride of Frankenstein, directed by Sebastián Lelio. Updated in what way, you ask? Here’s the synopsis: “A woman created to be an ideal wife – the singular obsession of a brilliant entrepreneur – rejects her creator, and is forced to flee her confined existence, confronting a world that sees her as a monster. It is on the run that she finds her true identity, her surprising power, and the strength to remake herself as her own creation.” And Johansson herself adds: “It is long overdue for Bride to step out of the shadow of her male counterpart and stand alone. Working alongside [screenwriters] Rebecca Angelo and Lauren Schuker Blum, Sebastian and I are extremely excited to emancipate this classic anti-heroine and reanimate her story to reflect the change we see today.”

Swell. Because whenever I watch the Universal Monsters movies, I always wish I could get a crash course in modern feminism before the fun becomes too much for me. If you’ve never seen the film, the Bride of Frankenstein doesn’t have much of a role in The Bride of Frankenstein; she only shows up at the very end, her creation the culmination of the Monster’s arc. (Although the actress who plays her, Elsa Lanchester, does appear early on, in a very cool framing device.) The same is true of Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, where the Bride doesn’t even come to life. Now, I’m not opposed to making a movie where she takes center stage; plenty could be done with her, and it’s always plausible that these monsters survived whatever their most recent seeming demise may have been. And I’m sure Scarlett Johansson would be terrific in the role, not just for her acting talent and beauty, but for her screen presence, which the Bride would need if she’s to be resurrected. But turning this into some feminist screed is all wrong, and it – like pretty much every attempted reboot of the Universal Monsters movies – misunderstands the characters and their place in our culture.  These aren’t superheroes; these aren’t Republic serial adventurers. These are monsters, death-dealers whose very existence threatens us, and their humanity is found not in liberation or what will surely be dozens of strained “Slay Queen!” moments, but in the tragedy of their inescapable circumstances. The synopsis makes it sound like she was created to be Dr. Frankenstein’s Stepford Wife rather than as a companion for the Monster; in fact, the Frankenstein’s Monster doesn’t seem to exist this time, with horror’s premier mad scientist wanting a mate rather than to create life. Although I guess I should be grateful to them for at least being upfront about their intentions this time before I could be bothered to give them the benefit of the doubt. Rebecca Angelo and Lauren Schuker Blum are also writing the new version of The Wolf Man starring Ryan Gosling, so I guess this is an indication that I can skip that too (guaranteed, it’ll be about toxic masculinity).  

Does this Bride of Frankenstein remake sound like a good idea to you? Are you a fan of the Universal Monsters movies? Will it be long before Dracula’s brides put a stake in his heart and walk away with a Z-snap? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to Geeks + Gamers for more movie news!

Comments (5)

October 26, 2020 at 12:12 am

The part should have gone to a REAL sewn together corpse.

October 26, 2020 at 9:09 am

ScarJo, highest paid actress in Hollywood, often screams that she is oppressed. In this day and age, she could just identify as a Male and get some of that sweet male privilege they talk about.

    October 26, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    She might get to keep some of those roles the wokesters are forcing her out of too.

November 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm

She wouldn’t be my first choice but I have no problem with her starring in the movie.

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