Screenwriter Max Landis Discusses His Take On FRANKENSTEIN

Chronicle's Max Landis talks about his script for Fox's upcoming Frankenstein film, which will star Daniel Radcliffe, confirming that this is not one of many "dark and gritty" fantasy reimaginings and that he hopes it will be "touching".

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By Paul Romano - 3/2/2013


Speaking with Ain't It Cool News, Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis discusses his take on Frankenstein in Fox's upcoming remake. Earlier this week, we heard that Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) was in final talks to star in the film as Igor. Paul McGuigan (Sherlock) is attached to direct. Landis talks here about what to expect from his story, confirming that this is not one of those fantasy reimaginings such as Jack The Giant Slayer and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters despite being dark and action-packed. "I am, at the end of the day, a guy who loves story. So I came up with this idea for a story that I thought was touching, and exciting, and then as I was coming up with it I realized 'Oh, shit, this is Frankenstein.' And it's not some 'dark and gritty retelling/bad ass action reimagining,' that's not what I do, that's not what I'm interested in writing. Sure, a lot of my stuff is dark, and this does have dark bits and bad ass action, but it’s ultimately about characters."

He then discusses the role of Igor (Radcliffe) in the film, and how it'll be different from prior incarnations. "I realized we were missing Igor, the Igor everyone seemed to know, and I was like, 'Wait, what?' So I started watching ALL of the Frankenstein movies, from Mel Brooks to Peter Cushing to Robert De Niro, and realized that the only time Igor's actually been (Doctor?) Victor (Henry?) Frankenstein's assistant was in Monster Mash.

"That's when the idea came to me: instead of trying to do some high minded 'revisionist' Frankenstein, why not try to stay true to a version that only lives in the zeitgeist, and has NEVER REALLY EXISTED. And why not do it in an intelligent, hopefully, thoughtful way, about friendship and science, genius and madness, love and ambition, life and death? Why not use that imaginary, fairy dust framework of 'guy with hunchbacked assistant makes monster' and make it fun, sad, scary and hopefully, I really hope this, moving."


Production on Frankenstein is expected to begin this fall. It is based on Mary Shelley's acclaimed novel of the same name, and has been described as "a tale of friendship and redemption".









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14 Comments
Rowsdower - 3/2/2013, 6:07 AM
Karloff looking at some other dude playing the monster. Odd choice for a pic.
HellsHammer - 3/2/2013, 6:08 AM
Igor wasn't even in Frankenstein. Doctor Frankensteins assistant was Fritz in the original film and if I recall correctly (it's been a long time since I read the book) he wasn't even in the book and Frankenstein didn't even have an assistant. I think he showed up in Son of Frankenstein. Don't know why people believe Igor was Always the doctors helper or in every Frankenstein movie because he wasn't lol.
SpideyQuad - 3/2/2013, 6:19 AM
Hellhammer, I thought the exact same thing about Fritz and Igor. Bella Lugosi's Igor starting in Son of Frankenstein, but the article pointed out that that Igor was not a medical assistant assisting Dr. Frankenstein. It wasn't until the cartoon movie "Monster Mash" that the Igor character played that specific part.

It could be an interesting take. I just love the old universal Frankenstein
CaptainPresley - 3/2/2013, 7:38 AM
I'd rather them do a new sequel to the classic Universal Frankenstein recreating the look and feel of those movies.
Happy11 - 3/2/2013, 7:43 AM
I think Landis is getting scripts approved because of his name. Chronicle is what everyone has thought of at one time either talking with your best friend or imagined when you were playing with your toys, there was nothing original about chronicle and now he's saying he thought of a story then realised that it was actually a story written about 200 years ago, come on. Where is the originality in Hollywood.
jimoakley666 - 3/2/2013, 8:13 AM
I'd love to see an actual adaption of the book one day. All these versions over the decades and not one has been an actual faithful telling.
Reasonnnn - 3/2/2013, 9:28 AM
@Happy11 You are so misinformed. This guy is just churning out scripts. He's a bit of an asshole with an ego (which he acknowledges), but you should check out the Nerdist podcast episode with him as the guest. Dude is a smart man and isn't living off his dad's name and reputation.
AlexDeLarge87 - 3/2/2013, 9:44 AM
Frankenstein movie Del Toro said he is gonna make someday is supposed to be faithful version. He wants Doug Jones as The Monster. And the Monster would look something like in Bernie Wrightson´s arts.
Jhuntdaprodigy - 3/2/2013, 10:59 AM
The closest film there was to the book was the Kenneth Branagh-Robert De Niro one, but it wasn't that good, and it did take a few major liberties with the plot
capaware - 3/2/2013, 11:48 AM
That "other dude" playing the Monster opposite Boris Karloff in HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN is Glenn Strange, who also played the Monster in HOUSE OF DRACULA and ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN.
AlexDeLarge87 - 3/2/2013, 12:08 PM
I liked Branagh´s Frankenstein. Scared the crap out of me when i was kid. I didnt like Branagh as Victor Frankenstein thou. It felt like he was overacting all the time. But De Niro, John Cleese and Ian Holm stole the show.
AlexDeLarge87 - 3/2/2013, 12:11 PM
Another pretty badass version is the one with Patrick Bergin and Randy Quaid. It was made for tv only if i remember right. And same year Branagh made his version.
JULEZ13 - 3/2/2013, 3:03 PM
The last time someone tried to make this less of a horror and more heartwarming was the sh*t that came out of Branaugh's mind with Robert DeNiro staring as Frankenstein. That was just awful.

Frankenstein was ALWAYS meant to be a horror, that is what Mary Shelley wrote. Making this about "friendship and redemption" doesn't exactly make me wanna see it.
loki668 - 3/2/2013, 10:05 PM
@AlexDeLarge87

I agree. I actually was worried when De Niro was cast as the monster, but he was awesome. He stole the movie out from under everyone. Great film and the closest interpretation to the book so far.

Lord Loki has spoken

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