"Dracula" was a huge success and Universal was anxious to follow up with "Frankenstein" but Lugosi wanted to play the Doctor and he was offered the monster role. He turned it down due to "lack of dialogue" and the part was given to the relatively unknown Boris Karloff.
Lugosi was strongly considered for secondary werewolf Dr. Yogami. But he was dropped when Universal stopped planning the film as another "Karloff & Lugosi" melodrama, and got Henry Hull and Warner Oland to replace them.
Upon hearing that this film was in the planning stages at Universal (and that Curt Siodmak was writing a screenplay), he lobbied extensively at the studio to play the part of werewolf Larry Talbot. In the final film, he was relegated to the small role of a gypsy (creatively titled "Bela" by Curt, more than aware of Lugosi's attempts at winning the lead).
Actor who got the part: Lon Chaney Jr.
Did you know that Bela Lugosi was not the only choice for these movies? (click to learn more)