As a big Guillermo del Toro, I know better than to expect the director to bring to fruition even a fourth of the projects he attaches himself to, and that’s not even considering the films he keeps adding to his production slate. While he’s never been a prolific creator, the five years in between 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army and the upcoming mecha/monster fest Pacific Rim is the largest gap of time between projects in del Toro’s career, spanning back to 1991’s historical vamp horror Cronos. [Del Toro spent much of that time working on trying to get the first Hobbit film off the ground, before finally moving on. – Ed.] And while he’ll be dipping back into the vampire genre for the rest of the year to bring his and Chuck Hogan’s novel trilogy The Strain to FX at some point next year, he’s got yet another monster on his mind.
Yes, he’s planning on reaffirming his relationship with one of his favorite creatures, the Frankenstein monster, for a new film. Granted, it’s a project he’s been kicking around since 2009 or so, and was even reportedly beginning some test shoots, with Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth star Doug Jones taking the role of the body-warped monster. But Jones is currently starring on Falling Skies, and del Toro has another actor in mind anyway.
So who does del Toro have in mind? Benedict Cumberbatch, he of Star Trek Into Darkness and Sherlock. Wait…are those angels singing in chorus? Cumberbatch knows the character well, having played both the monster and Dr. Victor Frankenstein on the stage for Danny Boyle’s acclaimed production Frankeinstein: A Modern Myth.
Let’s look at this realistically though. Del Toro and Cumberbatch will be working together on the gothic horror Crimson Peak early next year, once work on The Strain is complete. After that, it’s assumed that Cumberbatch will have like 17 other projects to tend to while del Toro works out all of that film’s kinks. And then he’ll have to get right back into crafting this new version of Frankenstein. So we’re probably looking at a production that would take place at some point in 2015. That’s assuming he doesn’t head straight into a Pacific Rim sequel, his long-gestating Pinocchio movie, or even the Charlie Kaufman-penned Slaughterhouse Five remake that was announced along with the Frankenstein/Cumberbatch news.
In the meantime, several other companies are already well into their Frankenstein projects. Fox has an untitled one with Daniel Radcliffe attached. Lionsgate has I, Frankenstein with Aaron Eckhart. And on the indie front, The Frankenstein Theory released earlier this year, while Frankenstein’s Army will see a limited release at the end of this month.
In other words, we’ll probably see someone actually reanimate the dead before we see del Toro bring his own version of the story to theaters. Let’s hope we get some good concept art out of it at least.
Take a peek at two of the Frankenstein: A Modern Myth trailers below to experience a scar-faced Cumberbatch for yourself.