Screenwriter Max Landis Reveals Details About Shawn Levy's Frankenstein Adaptation
09.18.11 by BJSprecher
Earlier this month, it was reported that director Shawn Levy would be following up his sci-fi sports movie, Real Steel, with an adaptation of Mary Shelley's public domain monster novel, Frankenstein, making it the eighth such adaptation currently in development. At the time of the announcement, all that was known about the script written by Max Landis (son of John Landis, director of such comedy classics as Animal House and Coming to America) was that it would be "a sci-fi take on the traditional Mary Shelley story, focusing on themes of friendship and redemption." We now know a bit more about the movie thanks to Landis himself, who discussed the origin of his take on Frankenstein in a recent interview with ShockTillYouDrop, and revealed that the movie will be told from the perspective of Ygor.
I was having an argument with my friend about when Ygor first appeared in the Frankenstein mythology. The argument got more and more intense. He was convinced that Ygor was in the Universal film. I told him that was a hunchback named Fritz. He didn't believe me and so I did some research. I read the original book. In the original book [Frankenstein is] not a doctor, he's a college dropout. The whole book is spent in fear, fleeing from a smart monster. It's exactly like the Mary Shelley's Frankenstein movie.
Then I was like, "Where's Ygor?"
So I went to the Hammer horror films. First, I watched all of the Hammer horrors, all of the Peter Cushings, all of these different Frankensteins, and there's brilliant stuff in there. Some of which, I was like, "Wait a minute. This is part of the zeitgeist Frankenstein myth. They think this is stuff from the 1930s movie."
So I was like, "Where's Ygor?"
So I watched all of the original Frankensteins, all of the Universal Frankensteins. I found Ygor. He's in the third Frankenstein film. He's a broke-neck blacksmith played by Bela Lugosi, who manipulates the monster for his own means. He's not a hunchback and he's not Frankenstein's assistant. But that can't be right! Everyone knows Frankenstein's assistant is Ygor. ... I began to pick apart our knowledge of Frankenstein and discovered that the public's idea of [the Frankenstein] myth comes from a million different places. ... I became committed to recontexturizing it all so that it all works in one story. Yeah, it's a period piece. Yes, it's from Ygor's perspective. But, man it's cool.
Like the other seven Frankenstein movies in development, Levy's movie does not yet have a production start date. However, Fox is apparently looking to fast-track the movie and get it into theaters before the other adaptations.