Frankenstein cries in 'Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman'

Christian Bale’s Frankenstein Is Giving Flashbacks to Jared Leto’s Joker

Maggie Gyllenhaal has given us a first look at The Bride, featuring Christian Bale as Frankenstein’s famous monster. Unfortunately for all involved, the immediate response involves three words no one wants to hear: Jared Leto’s Joker.

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Gyllenhaal shared the first images from The Bride, her upcoming reimagining of The Bride of Frankenstein, on Instagram. The photos are from a camera test for her directorial debut and feature Jessie Buckley as a very Lady Gaga-esque Bride and Bale as the monster, whom Gyllenhaal refers to as Frank:

Buckley’s look is intriguing, and Bale’s aesthetic is—well, it’s definitely better than Jared Leto’s scumbag Joker with face tattoos. It’s more akin to an early ’00s emo look; with a chest tattoo that says “Hope” in cursive lettering and embroidered phrases on his jacket, it’s giving pretentious pseudo-intellectual soft boy with a collection of Leonard Cohen LPs and the ability to quote Sartre on demand. It’s that guy—the one who uses too much teeth when he makes out with girls in his old Lincoln Town Car—dressing up as Frankenstein’s monster for Halloween in 2001.

To be fair, it’s difficult to give a quality assessment based on a camera test, and I’m still stoked for Gyllenhaal’s follow-up to The Lost Daughter, which sounds a little bit like Poor Things: Per Variety, The Bride is “set in 1930s Chicago and puts a spin on the iconic Frankenstein lore. Buckley’s murdered young woman is revived, but her new life surprises her creators as she lusts for romance and ignites a radical social movement.”

Gyllenhaal’s choice of cinematographer is particularly interesting: Lawrence Sher, a DP whose credits include several Todd Phillips movies, including Joker and the upcoming sequel, Joker: Folie à Deux.

The Bride also stars Penélope Cruz, Peter Sarsgaard, and Annette Bening, and hits theaters and IMAX on October 2, 2025.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)


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Author
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.