Various Frankenstein projects have been coming together on the operating table in recent years; two have had the necessary surge of studio power to help them rise up; and Real Steel director Shawn Levy has just been talking to Collider about the one that belongs to him.
Broad details about Max Landis' screenplay have already emerged, not least from Landis himself. The Chronicle writer explained in a great interview with Shock last year that he's attempted to coherently combine elements from Mary Shelley's original novel, and from the unwieldy subsequent Frankenstein mythologies that have built up over the years. His story is from the point-of-view of Igor, who 'everyone knows' is Frankenstein's hunchback lab assistant... except that he isn't, and kind of never was. Check out Shock's interview for the full history...
So the big reveal from Levy is not the story but the approach: his monster will be achieved with the same technology that brought the Real Steel robots to life.
"My whole approach with Frankenstein is based on a mo-cap SimulCam playback," Levy explains (if "explains" is quite the word). "I'll go to Europe, shoot the movie, do scenes with the real actors and I'll be able to see the motion-captured monster in real time due to SimulCam. It’s not a dude with scars on his face. It’s not just kind of latex and a costume; it will be a motion-capture performance of the monster, and I can give away maybe not too much by saying there’s more than one monster in our version."
Levy says that, rather than causing a potential problem per se, Stuart Beattie's I, Frankenstein, adapted from Kevin Grevoux's comics and starring Aaron Eckhart, has made Fox raise their game.
"I, Frankenstein is a wildy different movie to ours," says Levy (it's a modern-day story that casts the monster as a hero in a war between clans of immortals), "but in the culture it’s another Frankenstein movie, and it’s gonna come out next year. So if anything, that movie has kind of raised the bar for the studio and I to cast the living hell out of our Frankenstein. Everyone now knows, because people have seen Chronicle, that Max Landis is a hell of a goddamn writer and his script for Frankenstein is awesome. We’ve gotta make sure we cast it really, really right, and so that’s the moment we’re in right now."
There's no start date yet, but while you're waiting, make sure you catch Chronicle while it's still in cinemas.