Despite what the title of Stuart Beattie’s upcoming action fantasy film I, Frankenstein might suggest, protagonist Adam (Aaron Eckhart) is not Victor Frankenstein himself. Instead he is Frankenstein’s immortal creation, cursed to walk the Earth forever with very superficial scarring on his six-pack and chiselled jawline, unable to escape the knowledge that he will only ever be ruggedly handsome instead of clean-cut handsome.
Luckily, there is a war brewing between gargoyles and demons that will provide a useful distraction from this ongoing torment. Though Adam lives as something of an outcast from normal human society due to the aforementioned flaws in his conventional good looks, he is determined to protect humanity at all costs, and pledges to do so in this new TV spot for I, Frankenstein.
The shot of Eckhart jumping and flying horizontally through the air in order to punch a gargoyle in the face was also shown in the full-length trailer, but if there’s any shot worthy of being shown twice then that is the one. It speaks to what will likely be I, Frankenstein‘s niche: a popcorn flick with enough action to be entertaining, but probably not the kind of content that sticks in the mind too long after leaving the theater. In that respect, the film actually looks pretty good, with some decent effects and the promise of some exciting fight scenes.
Eckhart has been experimenting with a range of genres since receiving widespread attention for his role as Harvey Dent/Two-Face in The Dark Knight, mixing straightforward action movies like Olympus Has Fallen with low-budget indie fare Rabbit Hole and even some romantic drama in Love Happens. However, I, Frankenstein marks his return to the comic book movie genre as well as his first turn playing the lead in such a film. I, Frankenstein isn’t directly based on Mary Shelley’s novel, but rather on the comic books by Kevin Grevioux (which are loosely based on Shelley’s novel).
With a reported $36 million budget, I, Frankenstein needs to perform fairly well at the box office despite being thrown out into the chilly month of January, but the producers have experience with this genre and budgetary model thanks to their work on the Underworld movies, three of which were released in January with respectable profits made. Even if I, Frankenstein doesn’t draw in the kind of crowds needed to build a whole franchise, it looks like it has enough genre appeal to find an audience.
I, Frankenstein is out in theaters on January 24th, 2014.