Just the other day, we reported that director Shawn Levy (Date Night) was growing impatient with his James Cameron-produced 3D remake of Fantastic Voyage, threatening to walk away if he couldn’t get an A-list star (specifically Will Smith) to topline. Well now it looks like he may be done with the project after all, as he’s considering taking the reins of Fox’s Frankenstein. Max Landis (Chronicle) wrote the script for the retelling of Mary Shelley’s 1818 classic, and the studio is eager to get production moving in order to beat the other 12,000 Frankenstein projects currently in development. Hit the jump for more, including a rundown of those other iterations of Frankenstein.
Deadline reports that Fox is apparently eyeing a winter/spring shoot for the film, which means that if Levy signs on it should be his next effort after the Hugh Jackman-starred Real Steel opens this October. The report states that Frankenstein is just one of a number of projects the director is considering, but Frankenstein seems likely as his replacement for Fantastic Voyage.
I agree with Matt’s assessment that it’s fairly petty of Levy to walk away from a film just because he can’t get an A-list star. If he has Cameron behind him and a good enough story, he should be confident that a strong lesser-known actor could get the job done just as well, if not better. Nevertheless, while it’s not official yet, it certainly sounds like he’s moved on.
With Shelley’s classic novel being a part of the public domain, there are a number of different iterations in various stages of development. There’s Pulitzer-prize winning playwright David Auburn’s (Proof) adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s novel The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein, which centers on a young Victor Frankenstein spending his days experimenting with corpses. That film is being produced by Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures and actually includes Shelley as a character.
There’s also Summit’s adaptation of Kenneth Oppel’s novel This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein. To be directed by Matt Reeves, that project also features a young Victor Frankenstein, but this time he’s on a quest to find three rare ingredients needed to create the Elixir of Life in order to save his twin brother. Then there’s Sony’s contemporary version of the tale, the Haley Joel Osment-starred Wake the Dead, and of course Guillermo del Toro’s long-in-development version with Doug Jones playing the monster.
So it definitely sounds like Fox’s version will be the first out of the gate, especially if Levy signs on. It’s unknown what approach they’re taking or what Levy would bring to the table, but things seem to be moving very quickly so expect more information sooner rather than later.