James McAvoy in Talks to Play ‘Frankenstein’

Published 2 years ago by

James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy in Becoming Jane James McAvoy in Talks to Play Frankenstein

Frankenstein is one classic horror tale that never seems to go out of style, and as a result, it’s often difficult to keep track of the various ongoing project developments based on Mary Shelley’s novel and the spectre that haunts it. Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro has had his own version in development for a long time now – which unfortunately never seems to get any closer to becoming a reality – but there’s also¬†I, Frankenstein, an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name that stars Aaron Eckhart in the lead and is out in theaters in January.

The next major Frankenstein movie will be directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin) for Twentieth Century Fox, based on a script by Chronicle writer Max Landis. With a release date already set for next fall, pre-production is already steaming ahead and Frankenstein will likely begin shooting within the next few months. Luckily, the search for the right actor to play the title role seems to have come to an end.

Deadline reports that Fox has settled upon X-Men: Days of Future Past star James McAvoy as the choice for their obsessive scientist, and that “dealmaking is underway.” While this doesn’t mean that McAvoy is completely locked in for the role quite yet, it’s pretty safe to say that Fox has found their Frankenstein. It was apparently a much sought-after role, with Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans) and Jack Huston (Kill Your Darlings) among the actors previously who auditioned.

This is a solid casting choice that’s sure to spark some increased interest in Frankenstein.

James McAvoy X Men First Class 2 James McAvoy in Talks to Play Frankenstein


McAvoy’s most notable international role to date has been as a professorial character, making it easy to imagine him playing a scientist, but he has a lot of range and other roles in his resume include an awkward, nerdy college student in Starter for 10, a working class Romeo in Atonement, a car thief in Shameless and Mr. Tumnus in Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and Wardrobe.

McAvoy’s prospective character name is listed as Victor Von Frankenstein, the name of the character in the Hammer Horror movies, rather than simply Victor Frankenstein, as he was called in the book. Combined with the news that Daniel Radcliffe will be playing Igor, a character who was first introduced in James Whale’s 1931 film version of the story (though his name was actually Fritz), it sounds like McGuigan’s film will be an amalgamation of elements from the expansive Frankenstein mythos rather than a direct adaptation of Shelley’s novel.

Many actors have played Victor Frankenstein in the past – Colin Clive, Udo Kier, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gene Wilder, Peter Cushing, and Kenneth Branagh among them – but who has been your favorite Frankenstein so far, and who are you hoping to see take on the role in the future? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.


Frankenstein creeps into theaters on October 17th, 2014.

Source: Deadline

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Wouldn’t normally be interested in this but seeing how James McAvoy is the lead and Max Landis is writing, I may have to keep an eye on this one.

    Haven’t read the comic book series of I, Frankenstein or the novel Frankenstein but do both the source materials have a similar story or a completely different take on Frankestein? I’m wondering if this will be 2014′s Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down.

    • I’d suggest giving the 1994 Frankenstein movie a watch, it isn’t the definitive version of the Frankenstein story, and possibly slightly dated by today’s standards, but I believe it adheres pretty close to the story of the actual novel.

      From what I’ve seen of I, Frankenstein it looks like an over fictionalized “The story that happened after the story ended” type pitch that dials up the fantastical elements, sorta like that old ‘Van Helsing’ movie, but with the potential to be a bit better.

      But that’s just my impression of it, I’ve never gotten around to reading the actual novel or I, Frankenstein graphic novels either myself.

  2. hmmmmm. I’d much rather see a straight adaptation of the novel, which hasn’t yet been done justice on screen. But I *do* love James McAvoy, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing it.

    I really think the novel would make a wonderful mini-series. There’s a lot of room for interpretation and inclusion of graphic material. The crazy, the sexual dysfunction, the brooding and violence– it’d fit quite well in the current tv landscape.

  3. I really wish someone would make an an actual adaptation of the novel. It’s one of my favorite books and I want to see it on screen. However if that’s not going to happen, an update of the original movie could certainly be interesting.

  4. One iteration of Frankenstein (monster) I’d love to see being made to film is DC Comics’ Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Sure the recent comics didn’t last long, but if handled properly it can do well in the big screen. Unfortunately, it has many similarities with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. Oh, well…

  5. One of my favoritr actors, tho ive yet to see trance

  6. Sounds pretty cool.

  7. I agree with the above comments about adapting the actual novel. Most of the films miss the point. Although the TV miniseries with Luke Goss was one of the best adaptations.

  8. Benedict Cumberbatch for Frankenstien. This looks awesome

  9. James McAvoy is the real deal and this casting would be exciting.
    The Curse Of Frankenstein is my favorite Hammer version with Peter
    Cushing as Victor and none other than Christopher Lee as the “Creature”.