The monster universe will be set in the modern day, with Universal planning a new take on the classic Bride Of Frankenstein. However, it appears likely that Bardem will appear as the character in another movie first, but it’s not known which one. He may have been cast now so he can cameo in The Mummy, but it’s believed Invisible Man will also shoot this year.
The studio is certainly bringing a lot of star power to its planned franchise, going against the grain for superhero movies, which have tended to cast cheaper up-and-comers, or well-known names going cheap (and remember, that’s exactly what Robert Downey Jr. was before Iron Man). It’s presumably due to the fact movie monster don’t have the same sort of in-built fanbase and interest that superheroes tend to have, and so they feel adding some big names will help. It’s yet to be seen whether it will work out.