Guillermo del Toro, known for tackling amazing monsters in films like Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and the Best Picture-winning The Shape of Water, was going to helm a re-telling of cinema’s most famous monster. A few years back, right around the time of 2017’s The Mummy, it was announced del Toro would tackle a Frankenstein film, but sadly the film never came to fruition.
Now, long-time collaborator of the filmmaker, Doug Jones, is opening up about the plans for del Toro’s Frankenstein and why the project never got made. Jones went on to call the film “so hauntingly beautiful” and mentioned it would reference the work of Swamp Thing co-creator Bernie Wrightson.
“It was like, honestly, my eyes welled up,” Jones said. “It was so hauntingly beautiful, and it did pay reverence to Bernie Wrightson’s artwork and gave you a different-looking Frankenstein’s monster than what you’re used to.”
As for the reason Frankenstein never got made, Jones says the blame falls onto Universal’s plans for a shared cinematic universe of films, which they dubbed the Dark Universe.
“The idea came to do what Marvel is doing, where there’s an entire Universal Monsters Universe,” Jones said. “Where they can interplay with each other and guest in each other’s movies, that sort of thing. That new era was going to start with the new Mummy movie that Tom Cruise was a part of. My guess would be, and again, I have no authority to say this, but my guess would be Guillermo probably wanted to make a standalone movie that was just his piece of art, that would be an homage to the book and an homage to the original film.”
Universal has recently found success in rebooting their classic films with this year’s The Invisible Man, but there’s no word on if Guillermo del Toro would return to this project. Doug Jones let Collider know that he would “kill to [do it]” if the chance arises.