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Christian Bale Transforms Into Frankenstein for Maggie Gyllenhaal’s ‘The Bride’

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Maggie Gyllenhaal has shared a first look at Christian Bale and Jessie Buckley in The Bride.

On Thursday morning, the director uploaded images from a camera test on Instagram, featuring Bale’s latest onscreen transformation into Frankenstein, along with his paramour, the eponymous bride (Buckley). The photos were taken by film photographer Niko Tavernise.

Bale’s version of the monster features a scarred face, sutures on his forehead and a stitched-up chest adorned with a tattoo that reads “Hope.” Meanwhile, Buckley appears in a bleached-blond, finger-waved hairstyle, with ink splatter covering her cheek.

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In The Bride, Gyllenhaal puts a fresh spin on Mary Shelley’s story, setting it in 1930s Chicago. According to its logline, a lonesome Frankenstein enlists the help of Dr. Euphronios to create a companion for himself. They revive a murdered woman, creating the titular bride.

In early February, Bale had teased that he was about to start shooting the film to THR. “I’ve got to shave my head next week [for the role as Frankenstein],” he said at the time. “I asked them to please let me hold off on doing that but everyone was going, ‘What’s wrong with Bale? What’s up with him?’ I said, ‘Just let me get through the groundbreaking [of his construction project for 12 new homes for foster children] and then I’ll be off to join you.’”

The film was initially set up to be a Netflix production, but eventually moved to Warner Bros. Annette Bening, Penélope Cruz and Peter Sarsgaard are set to star alongside Buckley and Bale. This marks Gyllenhaal’s second time behind the camera, following 2021’s The Lost Daughter, which also starred Buckley.

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