Back in the days when Universal Pictures was putting together its Dark Universe franchise, Javier Bardem was on deck to play Frankenstein’s monster. However, that shared universe never came to fruition due to its first entry, The Mummy, critically and commercially underperforming in summer 2017. Since then, Universal has embarked down a new creative path with its lineup of Monsters, but is it possible that the man who appeared as Stilgar in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune could still star in a new cinematic Frankenstein story?
While recently appearing on Sirius XM’s The Jess Cagle Show, Javier Bardem was asked if he’s still attached to play Frankenstein’s monster for Universal. After mentioning that he has the right head size for the role, the actor responded:
Javier Bardem has been associated with Frankenstein’s monster since 2016, when it was first reported that he was in talks to play the towering brute. By May 2017, Bardem confirmed he was in discussions for the role, but rather than play the monstrosity in a direct adaptation of Mary Shelley’s original 1818 novel, he was expected to appear as the character in a remake of Bride of Frankenstein. But as noted earlier, this was all before The Mummy failed to impress, so whatever original plans Universal had for Frankenstein’s monster in the Dark Universe ended up being scrapped. In those days, the play was for Beauty and the Beast’s Bill Condon to direct, and Angelina Jolie was being eyed to play the title protagonist originally brought to life by Elsa Lanchester.
Fast-forward to now, evidently Javier Bardem hasn’t been kept in the loop about whether he will indeed still get to play Frankenstein’s monster. That said, it’s worth mentioning that in June 2020, producer David Koepp revealed that he’d written a new version of the Bride of Frankenstein remake, and that the studio had begun talking to directors. No major updates have come in since then, but it’s possible the remake is still in the development stages. If so, perhaps Universal would still be game for Bardem to take part in it rather than look for someone else to play Frankenstein’s monster. If the studio does decide it wants a different actor, maybe it should look at Josh Brolin, as Bardem also said in the interview that his No Country for Old Men costar has the same head size as him.
If/when the day comes that Javier Bardem is confirmed to be playing Frankenstein’s monster, whether it’s in Bride of Frankenstein or a different Universal Monsters project, we’ll pass along that news. For now, keep our 2022 release schedule handy to stay up to date on what movies are arriving this year.