Along with Dracula and The Mummy, Frankenstein (actually “Frankenstein’s monster”) represents one of THE classic movie monsters, made famous by Universal in the early 1930s.
80 years later there have been many-a-version of Frankenstein portrayed on the big-screen, in everything from the classic 1931 film starring Boris Karloff to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the latter of which was directed by Kenneth Branagh (Thor) and starred Robert De Niro as the monster itself/himself.
Now we’re hearing word that one of the big studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, has decided to get back in on the classic movie monster scene – following the aforementioned De Niro version – as the studio is set to develop a new contemporary version of Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein tale.
Deadline reports the news that Matt Tolmach is at the center of a preemptive pitch deal to acquire a new take on Frankenstein novel, which was pitched by Craig Fernandez. Tolmach was until recently the co-President of Sony Pictures Entertainment but at the end of October he stepped down in order to make a multi-year picture deal with the studio as a producer (perhaps he wanted to be more hands-on with developing projects?). His deal starts with him producing the forthcoming Spider-Man reboot alongside Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin.
On a quick Spider-Man note – those waiting with baited breath for the rebooted version of everybody’s favorite web slinger will be happy to know everything is right on schedule as Deadline reports the reboot is set to start shooting in a few days. But I digress…
Fernandez, who pitched the new Frankenstein idea, will also write the script. His most notable credit is the upcoming DreamWorks Animation project Everything Must Go (not to be confused with the Will Ferrell indie comedy/drama of the same name), which is based on the series of Terry Pratchet novels entitled The Bromeliad Trilogy. Fernandez has also written the upcoming Lionsgate film Prada to Nada; The Courageous, based on Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous; and is currently adapting Octavia Butler’s novel Clay’s Ark, also for DreamWorks Animation.
There’s no real plot details on this new version of Frankenstein quite yet, only that it’s, “a contemporary version of the Marry Shelley novel.” By contemporary I think we can assume that means modern day, which I hope doesn’t mean the story will lose any of that classic spookiness. That old-fashioned feel of the Frankenstein story – which includes, but is not limited to, Dr. Frankenstein’s lab being in an old dank castle – is part of what makes it so effective. So if this version is going to contemporize things, I hope it doesn’t leave behind a big part of what made the story memorable in the first place.
This isn’t the only version of Frankenstein that’s in the works: We also have Lakeshore Entertainment’s contemporary fantasy, I, Frankenstein; an adaptation of Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein book series; and last but not least director Guillermo del Toro’s much talked-about adaptation. What can Sony’s version do to stand out from the crowd?
Stay tuned for more details on Sony’s contemporary version of Frankenstein.