Angelina Jolie Pitt has long been a major force in Hollywood, with her star power carrying projects that might otherwise have not made it to the screen. Sometimes she has even shown up in roles that seemed a bit odd, like when she played the “monstrous” mother of Grendel in the motion-capture Beowulf production.
Now, she is reportedly being eyed for another monstrous role – namely, in the Bride of Frankenstein reboot being developed by Universal Studios. That’s not the only role that Universal wants her for, either, and it may be willing to take a few losses in order to sign her.
According to THR, Universal may have taken on Jolie’s pet project By the Sea to strengthen the studio’s relationship with Jolie in order to warm her up to other projects in the Universal pipeline. Besides the role of the Bride of Frankenstein in the Universal Monsters shared universe reboot, the studio also hopes to finally get Wanted 2 – a sequel to 2008’s comic book-based action movie Wanted – off the ground, with Jolie onboard.
Some estimates report that By the Sea might result in losses for Universal upwards of $40 million, which could easily be made up if future Jolie blockbusters are hits. By the Sea may have done better if the studio had marketed it the way it wanted, but Jolie took a large amount of creative control; according to one insider:
“Universal wanted to sell it as something sexy, but she wanted it to be sold as a European art house movie… Every trailer and TV spot was cut by her or her group.”
Universal giving in may have been another tactic to stay in Jolie’s good graces to get her into future films. It’s not exactly uncommon; after all, as THR notes, Paramount Pictures recently did something similar with the Sandra Bullock film Our Brand is Crisis which also underperformed at the box office and was explained away as being taken on because Paramount “cherished [its] relationship with her.”
Bride of Frankenstein is a major part of Universal’s plans for a connected Universal Monsters universe, alongside films such as The Mummy, and a reboot of Van Helsing. Attaching Jolie to the film would be a major draw, and Universal’s willingness to take on her passion projects will only help to win Jolie over. Bringing her in on Wanted 2 would be interesting too, given how her character fared in the first movie; recent script drafts for the sequel reportedly contain a twist that may explain how Jolie’s character returns, but that’s all we really know at this point.
Universal is likely hoping to attach her to at least one of the films, though if her schedule is free it may be able to pull off both. Bride of Frankenstein would be the priority since Universal hopes to release a Universal Monsters film every year in the near future. Meanwhile, Wanted 2 is still waiting for the right script and has James McAvoy’s commitments to films such as Fox’s X-Men franchise to work around.
Bride of Frankenstein and Wanted 2 do not currently have release dates, but we’ll let you know when (or if) this changes.