Golden Globe-winner Bill Nighy has quietly become a fan-favorite actor over the past decade, between his makeup-enhanced performance as Viktor in the Underworld franchise and CGI-enhanced turn as Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies – along with his brief (but memorable) supporting parts in films like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Hot Fuzz, and the seventh Harry Potter movie.
I, Frankenstein is a sequel (of sorts) to the classic Mary Shelley story – one which supposes that the Frankenstein monster, Adam (Eckhart), is still alive many years after the death of his creator. The misunderstood creature eventually finds himself in an alternate contemporary setting: a dark and dangerous city overrun by two warring immortal races. Adam quickly becomes the target of a clan of demons that desire to learn the secret behind his existence, in order to produce an army of reanimated monsters.
Variety says that Nighy is in negotiations to appear in I, Frankenstein as “a demon prince.” Australian actor Socratis Otto (the country’s popular soap opera Home and Away) is already locked to portray one of the demonic royalty’s henchmen.
The Frankenstein comic book project won’t be the only upcoming blockbuster production to feature Nighy in (weird) non-human form. The actor is also portraying the Greek God of fire and metallurgy, Hephaestus, in Jonathan Liebesman’s Wrath of the Titans; half of the two-headed giant leader, General Fallon, in Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer; and the (possibly mutant) rebel leader, Kuato, in Len Wiseman’s Total Recall remake.
Suffice it to say: Nighy has got the whole “playing bizarre-looking bad guys” act down pat, at this point.
Stuart Beattie (co-writer of the first PotC movie, 30 Days of Night, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) is writing and directing I, Frankenstein, which already boasts a solid cast, between Eckhart and Nighy. The film also reads as somewhat of a mashup of plot and character elements from the Underworld and Highlander franchises (among other fantasy series) with some traditional Frankenstein-style cerebral science-fiction thrown in for good measure.
That doesn’t, per se, immediately sound like a surefire formula for producing an excellent popcorn flick, but it’s definitely an intriguing mixture of genre tropes and concepts. Besides, out of all the upcoming Frankenstein-related projects, this is one of the rare ones that isn’t just a reboot/re-imagining of the classic philosophical sci-fi/horror tale. So that’s definitely worth something.
Principal photography on I, Frankenstein is scheduled to begin in Australia by January 2012. The film is currently set to invade theaters around the U.S. on February 22nd, 2013.