I've lost count on how many Frankenstein productions are in development right now, there's only Guillermo del Toro's that has gripped me and got me excited over it's possibilities. Sadly we've got another one to contend with today as The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business Blog say writer/director Neil Burger (Interview with the Vampire, The Illusionist) is remaking the 1930's horror classic Bride of Frankenstein at Universal.How depressingly predictable. As any horror buff knows, Bride of Frankenstein is one of the seminal Hollywood sequels, probing deeper into more interesting themes than the original Boris Karloff movie and in doing so becoming more of a tragic human drama than a horror movie. Ultra macabare but very farcically sinister the movie was directed by Universal regular James Whale (who also helmed the original Frankenstein and The Invisible Man some years before). The story focused on Frankensteins monster on the run from an angry mob and being introduced to a female mate, who ultimately rejects him. Of course you can already begin to see the problems the remake is going to face. Despite the monster's story being engrained in popular culture for decades now, your still leaving younger audiences without the backbone of an original movie to support it. No modern day audiences would be that interested in getting to know about the monster's mate, before getting to know the monster himself. Will this movie even tackle his origins?Surely Universal would be better off making a Frankenstein movie first, establishing a new icon as the character and then once they have made a return off that, progressing to make Bride of Frankenstein as it's sequel. Why this incessant need to rush things? If you look make at what Universal head Carl Laemmle did with the first wave of Universal horror, they weren't rushed productions. Once one movie made some money, another was then put into circulation. Why can't we see that kind of effort made here? Remaking the whole of the Universal cannon in one go seems like desperation. And if Joe Johnston has messed up with The Wolf Man and it makes no money to howl about come November, then they will have egg on their faces.
P.S. - I do actually like Neil Burger as an atmospheric director and fairly competent storyteller, and if this were to be a remake of Frankenstein then I would probably be looking forward to it. I really like Interview with the Vampire... but I just don't see why you would remake a sequel first, especially when that sequel is perfection itself.