Frankenstein (Universal film series)
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Frankenstein is the title of several horror film series loosely based on the 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, centered on a monster created by the character Dr. Victor Frankenstein.
Original series (1931–1948)
The original series of films consisted of eight installments, which starred iconic horror actors such as Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's Monster. The series of films is part of the larger Universal Classic Monsters series.
|Year||Film||Frankenstein's Monster actor|
|1935||The Bride of Frankenstein|
|1939||Son of Frankenstein|
|1942||The Ghost of Frankenstein||Lon Chaney Jr.|
|1943||Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man||Bela Lugosi, Eddie Parker & Gil Perkins|
|1944||The House of Frankenstein||Glenn Strange|
|1945||House of Dracula|
|1948||Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein||Glenn Strange and Lon Chaney Jr.|
Dark Universe and proposed reboot
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Universal Pictures has sought to remake Bride of Frankenstein on several occasions. While the novel Frankenstein has been adapted to film many times, Bride of Frankenstein's closest remake was the non-Universal film The Bride (1985), starring Sting, Clancy Brown, and Jennifer Beals. In 1991, the studio sought to remake the film for cable television, and Martin Scorsese expressed interest in directing.
In the first decade of the 21st century, Universal paired with Imagine Entertainment and contracted Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, who wrote the screenplay for American Splendor, to write a remake. The screenwriters set the story in contemporary New York. Jacob Estes was also involved with the project at one point and wrote a draft. In June 2009, Universal and Imagine entered discussions with director Neil Burger and his writing partner Dirk Wittenborn, and producer Brian Grazer was assigned to oversee the development of the remake.
In December 2015, Variety reported that David Koepp will write the script. In May 2017, Universal Pictures announced their shared universe film series of rebooted, modern-day interpretations of their classic Universal Monsters titled, Dark Universe. The film series began with the 2017 film The Mummy, and was expected to continue with Bride of Frankenstein on February 14, 2019 with Bill Condon directing the film, but Universal and Condon have decided to postpone this movie. By October 2017, it was reported that pre-production had begun when the creative team and studio decided to postpone the release in order to further work on the script with intentions being to improve the story. Deadline reported that Javier Bardem and Angelina Jolie are still attached to the movie as Frankenstein's monster and the film's reluctant bride, respectively. The same month Condon stated that should Jolie decide to leave the project, he would be interested in seeing Gal Gadot play the titular character. But on November 8, 2017, Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan moved on to other projects, leaving the future of the Dark Universe in doubt.
In January 2018, it was reported that Condon was assembling a production team, consisting of cinematographer Tobias A. Schliessler, production designer Sarah Greenwood, composer Carter Burwell, and costume designer Jacqueline Durran.
In November 2019, Condon reflected on the proposed Bride of Frankenstein remake not entering production. He stated: "That was a heartbreaker, really [...] the simplest way to say it is that I think The Mummy, and not to say anything against the movie, but the fact that that hadn't worked for them and it was the beginning of this whole reinvention of their monsters gave them cold feet at the end of the day. Because David Koepp was writing the script, I thought it was unbelievably good, and we were on the verge of making a really beautiful movie, I thought. So that was a shame." He also noted his uncertainty regarding his ability to publicly discuss the project "because [Koepp], I think, is still involved in figuring out the new approach [...] The movie that we started was devised as a great big movie, and at the end of the day, probably these movies should be smaller."
|Frankenstein||100% (46 reviews)||91 (13 reviews)|
|The Bride of Frankenstein||100% (44 reviews)||N/A|
|Son of Frankenstein||91% (23 reviews)||N/A|
|The Ghost of Frankenstein||75% (12 reviews)||N/A|
|Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man||25% (12 reviews)||N/A|
|The House of Frankenstein||55% (11 reviews)||N/A|
|House of Dracula||56% (9 reviews)||N/A|
|Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein||89% (27 reviews)||N/A|
|Van Helsing||24% (226 reviews)||35 (38 reviews)|
- Frankenstein (1931)
This iconic horror film follows the obsessed scientist Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) as he attempts to create life by assembling a creature from body parts of the deceased. Aided by his loyal misshapen assistant, Fritz (Dwight Frye), Frankenstein succeeds in animating his monster (Boris Karloff), but, confused and traumatized, it escapes into the countryside and begins to wreak havoc. Frankenstein searches for the elusive being, and eventually must confront his tormented creation.
- The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
After recovering from injuries sustained in the mob attack upon himself and his creation, Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) falls under the control of his former mentor, Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), who insists the now-chastened doctor must resume his experiments in creating new life. Meanwhile, the Monster (Boris Karloff) remains on the run from those who wish to destroy him, without understanding that his intentions are generally good despite his lack of socialization and self-control.
- Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone) is determined to prove the legitimacy of his father's scientific work, thus rescuing the family name from disgrace. With the help of Ygor (Bela Lugosi), a grave robber, Wolf successfully reanimates the monster (Boris Karloff) his father originally brought back from the dead. But when several villagers are killed mysteriously, Wolf must find the culprit in order to vindicate his creation, or face the possibility that he may be responsible.
- The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
Upon discovering Henry Frankenstein's creation (Lon Chaney Jr.) to be still alive, Ygor (Bela Lugosi) brings him to the Doctor's second son Ludwig Frankenstein (Cedric Hardwicke) for help. Obsessed with restoring the monster to his full potential, Ludwig is unaware that someone has more devious plans for the creature.
- Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Lawrence Stewart Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) is plagued by a physical oddity that turns him into a crazed werewolf after sundown. His desire to rid himself of this ailment leads him to the castle owned by mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein. Frankenstein, it turns out, is now dead, yet Talbot believes that the scientist's daughter, Baroness Elsa Frankenstein (Ilona Massey), can help him. However, his quest to right himself puts him on a collision course with Frankenstein's monster (Bela Lugosi).
- The House of Frankenstein (1944)
After escaping from prison, the evil Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff) and his hunchbacked assistant, Daniel (J. Carrol Naish), plot their revenge against those who imprisoned them. For this, they recruit the powerful Wolf Man (Lon Chaney), Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange) and even Dracula himself (John Carradine). Niemann pursues those who wrong him, sending each monster out to do his dirty work. But his control on the monsters is weak at best and may prove to be his downfall.
- House of Dracula (1945)
This monster movie focuses on the iconic vampire, Count Dracula (John Carradine), and Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney), better known as the Wolf Man. Both beings of the night are tired of their supernatural afflictions, so they seek out Dr. Franz Edelmann (Onslow Stevens) for cures for their respective curses. While trying to aid the imposing creatures, Edelmann himself develops a transformative condition, adding to the many ghouls lurking around the foreboding landscape.
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
In the first of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's horror vehicles for Universal Pictures, the inimitable comic duo star as railway baggage handlers in northern Florida. When a pair of crates belonging to a house of horrors museum are mishandled by Wilbur (Lou Costello), the museum's director, Mr. MacDougal (Frank Ferguson), demands that they deliver them personally so that they can be inspected for insurance purposes, but Lou's friend Chick (Bud Abbott) has grave suspicions, after receiving a phone call from Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) warning him of their contents (Bela Lugosi and Glenn Strange).
- Van Helsing (2004)
Famed monster slayer Gabriel Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) is dispatched to Transylvania to assist the last of the Valerious bloodline in defeating Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh). Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) reveals that Dracula has formed an unholy alliance with Dr. Frankenstein's monster (Shuler Hensley) and is hell-bent on exacting a centuries-old curse on her family. Together Anna and Van Helsing set out to destroy their common enemy, but uncover some unsettling secrets along the way.
On February 11, 2020, Amy Pascal stated in an interview with Variety that she and John Krasinski would be interested in green-lighting a reimagining of Bride of Frankenstein, and expressed hope that Koepp and Sam Raimi would take part in the project.
|1||Frankenstein||November 21, 1931||James Whale||Universal Classic Monsters|
|2||The Bride of Frankenstein||April 19, 1935|
|3||Son of Frankenstein||January 13, 1939||Rowland V. Lee|
|4||The Ghost of Frankenstein||March 13, 1942||Erle C. Kenton|
|5||Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man||March 5, 1943||Roy William Neill|
|6||The House of Frankenstein||December 15, 1944||Erle C. Kenton|
|7||House of Dracula||December 7, 1945|
|8||Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein||June 15, 1948||Charles Barton|
|A||Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein||September 28, 1999||Kathi Castillo||Stand-alone films|
|B||Van Helsing||May 7, 2004||Stephen Sommers|
|9||The Bride of Frankenstein||TBA||Bill Condon||Reboot|
Cast and characters
- A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.
- A P indicates the character was shown in a photograph and/or mentioned.
- A U indicates a uncredited role.
- A V indicates a voice-only role.
- A C indicates a cameo appearance.
- A L indicates an appearance wherein an actor's facial features were digitally imprinted upon another actor's face.
- A Y indicates an appearance as a younger version of a pre-existing character.
- An A indicates an appearance through archival footage, audio or stills.
This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (March 2020)
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- Zeitchik, Steven (June 18, 2009). "'Bride of Frankenstein' to live again". The Hollywood Reporter. Reuters.
- Hart, Hugh (June 17, 2009). "Born-Again Bride of Frankenstein in Works". Wired News. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- Kroll, Justin (December 17, 2015). "'Bride of Frankenstein' Reboot to Be Written by David Koepp". Variety.
- Bill Condon's ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ Postponed, filmschoolrejects.com
- "'Bride Of Frankenstein' Now Undated; Blumhouse Title To Fill Valentine's Day 2019 Slot".
- Jr, Mike Fleming (2017-10-05). "'Bride Of Frankenstein' Back To Lab As London Pre-Production Postponed; Javier Bardem & Angelina Jolie Expected To Wait". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
- Kit, Borys; Couch, Aaron (November 8, 2017). "Universal's "Monsterverse" in Peril as Top Producers Exit (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
- Marc, Christopher (January 15, 2018). "Bill Condon's "Bride of Frankenstein' Assembles a Production Team - When Will It Shoot? - Omega Underground". omegaunderground.com. Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
- "Interview: Bill Condon, Director of The Good Liar". Curzon. November 10, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- Weintraub, Steve (Interviewer); Condon, Bill (Interviewee) (November 13, 2019). The Good Liar: Director Bill Condon Interview. Collider Interviews on YouTube. Event occurs at 20:19. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- Jackson, Matthew (November 15, 2019). "Director Bill Condon says it was a 'heartbreaker' to lose Bride of Frankenstein reboot". Syfy Wire. Syfy. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- "Frankenstein (1931)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "Frankenstein (1931) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on December 16, 2014.
- "The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "Son of Frankenstein (1939)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "House of Frankenstein (1944)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "House of Dracula (1945)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "Van Helsing (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- "Van Helsing (2004) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on November 5, 2019.
- Donnelly, Matt (February 11, 2020). "Hollywood Still Trying to Put a Ring on Universal's 'Bride of Frankenstein' (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved February 13, 2020.