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.
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.