Summit Picks Up Frankenstein Origin Story, ‘This Dark Endeavor’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 23rd, 2013 at 4:08 pm,

Who out there has always wanted to learn more about what exactly drove Victor Frankenstein to become the brilliant but maniacal scientist who sought to defy death in Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel? Kenneth Opel did at least, and he organized his thoughts on the matter into a book he dubbed This Dark Endeavor, which will be published this summer.

Summit Entertainment has won the movie rights to Opel’s work, which is fully titled This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein. The studio has brought onboard a specialist (or something like that) in the field of teens, romance, and the supernatural to produce the pic, in the form of Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight).

Deadline broke the news about Summit’s acquisition of This Dark Endeavor, an action-adventure tale that follows a young (presumably, adolescent) Victor Frankenstein as he and his best friend Elizabeth set out to produce the Elixir of Life, in the hopes of saving his sick twin brother, Konrad. Matters become difficult when a love triangle forms between the trio, in a tale that frequently makes reference to and sets up the main narrative of Shelley’s Frankenstein (a.k.a. The Modern Prometheus).

This Dark Endeavor marks the third in-development feature based off Shelley’s original text in some form, alongside Sony’s contemporary Frankenstein re-imagining and Guillermo del Toro’s long-gestating adaptation. While the novel Frankenstein itself is no stranger to the Hollywood scene, this is the first time a legitimate prequel to the iconic cautionary tale about science and mortality has been conceived. We’ve seen what effects V. Frankenstein’s legacy had on his descendants (sort of – see below for the punchline) – and now it shall be revealed what made him the twisted genius he was.

Young Frankenstein movie image Summit Picks Up Frankenstein Origin Story, This Dark Endeavor

The eventual repercussions of Victor Frankenstein’s actions.

Opel’s novel looks to be the latest addition to the ever-growing young adult supernatural romance genre of literature. Unlike Stephenie Meyer’s re-envisioning of the vampire and werewolf mythos, Dark Endeavor aims to expand upon and flesh out the history behind the classic Frankenstein tale. In that sense it’s kind of similar to next month’s Red Riding Hood (from Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke – take that as you will), which adds teens, romance, and a Gothic touch to the famous fairy tale, so as to reveal “the truth” behind the legend.

While Dark Endeavor will lack the straightforward horror elements of Shelley’s original work, it sounds like more of a period action-adventure tale and less like just another story about broody teen romance and drama. That doesn’t guarantee that the book or its film adaptation will turn out to be interesting or even good, but it’s an encouraging thought for those who cringe at the prospect of Frankenstein being refashioned in some way for the Twihard crowd.

Does This Dark Endeavor sound like it has potential?

Source: Deadline

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TAGS: frankenstein, this dark endeavor

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  1. this sounds well dodgy a twilight frankenstien love story…. fail

  2. Great, this is going to have an angsty Frankenstein monster with great hair and spend his screen time brooding and/or sparkling….

    • LMAO Andy!

  3. You know what’s odd? According to the Internet, this book doesn’t exist, I can’t find reference to it anywhere. Not even on wikipedia!

  4. It currently available for Pre-order on Amazon.com
    Its release date is listed as August 23rd 2011.

  5. anyone remember that Frankenstein movie from the 90′s, the one where he meets a blind guy towards the end, from what i recall (i last saw it when i saw very young) it was pretty good/engaging… then again anything with monsters is engaging for a 8yr old.
    if anyone knows which movie i’m talking about could you link me to an imdb page, i cant remember the title and i really want to watch it again (idk why)

    • Sometime’s it’s just called Frankenstein, but it was released as Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. It starred Robert DeNiro as the creature and was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also played Victor Frankenstein. I really liked the movie when it came out, but don’t remember as much about it any more.

  6. the curse of Frankenstein is technically a prequel. and one of the best frankenstein movies ever made. peter cushing from star wars and Christopher Lee as the monster, must see if u like 50s horror

  7. Sure why not, when all else fails lets do ANOTHER variant of the Frankenstein monster story. How many incarnations of this venerable franchise are there? 20, 30, more? I lose a bit more hope in Hollywood with each of these re-make announcements.

    • yah, but this is the twilight version. Yipeeee!!!

  8. All these weird off-shoots of the Frankenstein story, and yet they have yet to make a single Frankenstein movie with more than a passing resemblance to Mary Shelley’s novel. The De Niro one got off to a good start…until they went in the weird necrophiliac direction.

  9. I’ve never honestly given any consideration to how and where you would go with a proto-Frankenstein story? I imagine it a little like Einstein’s story rather than say like Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon. Perhaps he’ll be a little bit of both…

  10. Has nobody on the internet actually read Mary Shelley’s novel?

    Seriously, because anyone who HAS knows that this is a stupid and completely nonsensical retcon of the ENTIRE backstory for Frankenstein. A backstory which, by the way, serves to establish themes and emotions that are present throughout the entire story and serve as the foundation for EVERYTHING that the novel is…

    I don’t understand how any self-respecting writer could possibly even dream to stoop to this level of literary blasphemy. This is taking away everything that Frankenstein is and systematically disemboweling it…

    • um, welcome to Hollywood?

  11. actually just finished the book. It was great!! There was no end to the suspense and unforgettable characters. The book did a great job of creating a believable series of events that will eventually lead to Viktor’s descent into morbid brilliance. I personally cant wait to see if Hollywood does this chilling story justice.

  12. I have read the book, and it is NOTHING like the twilight series. It is very gothic, as was Mary Shelly’s original novel. Even more so, there is a romance, but it isn’t over played like it is in twilight. Another thing:
    NO ONE SPARKLES!
    Hurray!
    It is a great novel, one worth reading. It digs deep into what made Victor go insane with creating life.
    Although, I don’t know if the movie will be as good as the novel. I’m just not sure. It seems like they will over play the romance and under play all the gotic elements, which, I really don’t approve of. I guess we’ll just wait and see.

  13. It’s not like Twilight. srsly

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