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Universal wants Javier Bardem to bring Frankenstein’s monster back to life

Universal Pictures has been rounding up talent to star in its monsters mélange, and Javier Bardem could be the next addition. The Spanish actor is in early talks to join the cinematic universe, reports THR.

Based on the classic monster movies of yore, the film universe will remake familiar horror stories centering on iconic characters and connect them, much like Marvel and DC Comics have done with their major franchises. Universal’s characters will be less heroic and more horrifying, though; the lineup includes the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and more.

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So far, a couple of big names have gotten on board. Tom Cruise has been cast as a special forces soldier in an upcoming reboot of The Mummy, for example, and Russell Crowe is set to pull double-duty as Dr. Jekyll and his alternative personality, Mr. Hyde. Should Bardem’s talks go well, he is expected to play either Dr. Frankenstein or his monster. THR sources indicate that Bardem’s character could be involved in multiple films.

Both the monster and his creator were made famous in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The story has been adapted for stage, film, and television many times over the years, with Universal first taking a crack at it over 80 years ago. Released in 1931, Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff, after being adapted from Peggy Webling’s 1927 play.

In both the novel and the 1931 film, Dr. Frankenstein is a young scientist, so it does seem that the monster role may be a better fit for Bardem than the man. However, with his acting background, he’s sure to be convincing in either; he has proven himself in films like No Country for Old Men, Skyfall, and numerous films in his native Spain.

The monster universe will first bring us The Mummy, which is set for release on June 9, 2017.