Writer/director Stuart Beattie is currently trying to get his debut blockbuster directorial effort I, Frankenstein, off the ground – and if his track record is any indication, he’ll do just that. Beattie has been the mind and pen that helped launch some pretty lucrative geek-appeal movie franchises, including Pirates of the CaribbeanG.I. Joe and (to lesser extent) 30 Days of Night.

One could fairly say that Beattie is a man for these times: Nowadays, it seems that every movie and/or TV studio is following the footsteps of Marvel Studios and building franchise universes that extended laterally into spin-offs and/or “connecting” films as much as they do linearly into sequels or prequels. In that sense, someone like Stuart Beattie – whose imagination for world-building has been proven by box office receipts – is a good person to tap for advice on what makes a good genre universe work. And, we did just that while at the I, Frankenstein junket in New York.

Screen Rant: The great thing about you is that you are obliviously a fan of this stuff; not just the behind the scenes, you love these properties as a fan. That said, what do you think right now when you see this era where universe-building has become THE thing? We were talking briefly about Star Wars and now there are more chapters to that saga, plus spin offs – not to mention the Marvel and DC movie universes. As a fan, how do you feel about this whole movement right now?

Stuart Beattie: As long as the stories are good and interesting and you’re not just cashing in sure, great I’ll go see it. As long as you got a good story to tell, tell me a good story. I’m starting to feel Marvel is just…I don’t know, the stories just aren’t as interesting to me anymore as they were. The first Iron Man I thought was a fantastic story; but what has Tony really gotten into since then? I don’t know…

Screen Rant: My two favorites are Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger.

Stuart Beattie: Yeah! Captain America! Look at that fantastic story…

Screen Rant: Like in the end [of First Avenger] I like that the whole thing hinges on this guy who really wants to go on a date with this one girl.

Stuart Beattie: That’s it! That’s what it comes down to! And can you find that good of a story in the second one? Then c’mon in your third one? I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve seen it yet I’m hoping, I always hope the movies are great I always do, I love movies and I always hope for the best of a movie.

Screen Rant: They should consult you, a proven world-builder!

Stuart Beattie: Ha-ha! Well you know…I’ve talked with Marvel, I would love to do a Marvel film. If I were to do a Marvel film – especially if it were a sequel – I would really, really dig into what’s the story? Why tell it? You always have to have a “why tell this story?” I’ve turned down so many jobs because I cannot figure out a why – why bother telling it?… Why now? Why is it important to tell it now?

We have more great stuff from our talk with Beattie and the cast of I,Frankenstein (Aaron Eckhart and Yvonne Strahovski). For more of that, be sure to stay tuned to our I, Frankenstein coverage all week.

I, Frankenstein will be in theaters on January 24, 2014.

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