It's hard to imagine any studio bankrolling Angelina Jolie Pitt's “By the Sea” — an insular, slow-moving character study co-starring the actor/director's real-life husband Brad Pitt — without the star herself putting up some kind of collateral. According to a new Hollywood Reporter story, it looks like the collateral for Universal — which released “By the Sea” last weekend to withering reviews and scant box-office returns — may have been Jolie Pitt's agreement to star in either the long-awaited sequel “Wanted 2” or their planned remake of “Bride of Frankenstein,” which previously had Neil Burger (“Limitless,” “Divergent”) attached to direct (though his involvement is unknown at this time):
“…even if Universal loses tens of millions of dollars on 'By the Sea,' the studio is gambling that by backing Jolie Pitt's artistic whim, she will be amenable to starring in its tentpole 'Bride of Frankenstein,' which is part of the Monster's universe from producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, or a long-hoped-for sequel to 'Wanted.' Either of those films could end up raking in far more in profits than Universal will lose on 'By the Sea.'”
Though the “bride” of the title, played by Elsa Lanchester in director James Whale's 1935 classic, is ultimately a supporting player in the original film (the character isn't introduced until very late in the plot), it's likely the role would be expanded for the likes of Jolie Pitt given her A-list starpower and proven box-office track record. I personally like the idea of the mega-star playing the wide-eyed, lab-created beauty, and it's certainly not hard to image the actress — who proved her ghoulish credentials in last year's “Maleficent” — donning the mile-high wig Lanchester made iconic 80 years ago.