They've gone and Jokerfied Frankenstein's monster

Christian Bale
Christian Bale
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Citizens of Gotham: get ready to listen to a new wave of dudes saying “we live in a society” as if no one’s ever heard it before. We’re already getting two Jokers with Folie à Deux and a third and fourth through The People’s Joker. In February, they Jokerfied The Crow, and now, the Joker-pocalypse has also come for Frankenstein’s monster. Heaven help us.

Maggie Gyllenhaal debuted a few first-look images from her upcoming Mary Shelley adaptation, The Bride!, today, and yeah—in case you haven’t noticed, the monster is weird. He’s a weirdo. He doesn’t fit in and he doesn’t want to fit in. He has... tattoos. The one on his chest is presumably “Hope” but looks a little bit like “Lope”? Or maybe “Elope”? Or a radical misspelling of “Cantaloupe”? Either way, it’s so sick and twisted.

We kid—in some ways, Christian Bale’s characterization does make sense in context. The film is set in 1930s Chicago, where Frankenstein travels to meet a Dr. Euphronius and create a companion for himself—the titular bride, played by Jessie Buckley. It tracks that at least one of the reanimated corpses Victor sourced in 1930s Chicago would have a few “Hope” or “Lope” tattoos and a really good hairline! That’s just attention to detail, baby!

Here’s where we get nerdy about Frankenstein lore: the film’s official synopsis, which refers to its protagonist as “a lonely Frankenstein,” is a bit confusing. It seems, based on these first-look images, that this Frankenstein is actually “Frank,” or Frankenstein’s monster, and that Victor is out of the picture entirely. Your guess on how Bale’s Frank came to be alone, without his creator, in 1930s Chicago, of all places, is as good as ours. We’ll leave the rest to Maggie, who presumably read up on enough Frankenstein lore before making this movie to know that Frankenstein isn’t the name of the monster. Fingers crossed!

In addition to Bale and Buckley, the film stars Annette Bening, Penélope Cruz, Julianne Hough, and Peter Sarsgaard. Bale also isn’t the only hot Frankenstein’s monster on the way. He’ll have some competition in the following months from Jacob Elordi, who’s also set to star as the iconic creature in a slated adaptation from Guillermo del Toro. That’s not to mention Cole Sprouse, who also played an ‘80s dream version of the creature in February’s Lisa Frankenstein.

But perhaps the Joker conspiracy goes even deeper than just wanting Frank to be period-accurate and also hot. After some shuffling at Warner Bros., The Bride! is actually premiering on The Batman II’s original release date of October 3, 2025. The rest of the film’s logline also promises that The Bride will “ignite... the attention of the police and a wild and radical social movement.” We live in a society, indeed.