There’s no question that Benedict Cumberbatch’s talents have quickly become a hot commodity among Hollywood’s elite players after the success of Star Trek Into Darkness – which introduced his face and his ability to play a compelling villain to U.S. audiences – so it’s no surprise that Guillermo del Toro wants to secure Cumberbatch for another one of his upcoming high-profile projects.
The Pacific Rim director has already enlisted Cumberbatch to play a part in his Gothic horror film Crimson Peak – which begins shooting next July – and now wants him for one of his other many projects in development, Frankenstein.
Although we don’t have a direct quote from the Mexican filmmaker, the Daily Telegraph is reporting that del Toro is “hoping to direct Cumberbatch again in a new film version of Frankenstein.” Of course, del Toro’s version – which he has been working on for several years – is not to be confused with Paul McGuigan’s sci-fi adaptation starring Daniel Radcliffe as Igor, which is slated for an October, 2014 release.
Though it’s not yet clear which part del Toro would want Cumberbatch to play, the good news is Cumberbatch has experience playing both the monster and Dr. Frankenstein. Not only did Cumberbatch play both roles in Danny Boyle’s stage adaptation of the famous story, he excelled alongside co-star Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary), garnering plenty of critical acclaim from U.K. publications and critics who saw a filmed version in select theatres last year.
However, considering del Toro has had his Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth star, Doug Jones, in mind for the part of the monster for several years, Cumberbatch could be more likely in line to play Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Then again, we haven’t heard anything about Jones’ involvement since 2009, so it’s unclear whether he’s still attached at all.
The disheartening part of all this is even though del Toro has had a Frankenstein adaptation in the works for a long time, the project doesn’t seem to be far along at all, so there’s no telling when, or if it could ever happen. With casting almost complete on Crimson Peak, we know del Toro will tackle that film first; he could even take on a Pacific Rim sequel within the next year or two if all goes well (early reviews have been solid). And with McGuigan’s film coming out next year, a del Toro Frankenstein film would likely get pushed back even further down the road anyway to avoid the dreaded copycat scenario that caused White House Down to see its box office hopes die on arrival nearly two weeks ago.
Even though the prospect of seeing a del Toro-directed, Cumberbatch-led Frankenstein film anytime soon isn’t particularly good, the mere possibility is undoubtedly exciting for fans of either of the two. Let’s hope things get rolling on the project after del Toro finishes shooting Crimson Peak next year.
Check out del Toro’s next larger-than-life production on the big screen this weekend, as Pacific Rim thunders into theatres on July 12, 2013. And check back with us for updates on his other developments, Crimson Peak and Frankenstein.