While Daniel Radcliffe continues to shed his Harry Potter stardom this month by starring in the grisly horror comedy Horns, the actor has already turned his attention to another upcoming project, in which he takes on one of his most against-type roles to date. In 20th Century Fox’s Victor Frankenstein, Radcliffe will put a new spin on the hunchbacked Igor, assistant and friend to the brilliant and destructive medical student Victor von Frankenstein (James McAvoy).
That a household name like Radcliffe is taking on the part of Igor, traditionally a supporting player in adaptations of Mary Shelley’s horror classic, marks one of many ways in which Victor Frankenstein will set itself apart from the crowd. When asked during an interview for Horns how his Frankenstein would sidestep comparisons to other works, Radcliffe explained that, in addition to there being “a lot of action:”
“I think our Frankenstein is a really kind of rip-roaring, fun adventure movie version of Frankenstein. I would really struggle to class it as horror. I think there are horror elements to it and nods to previous versions of Frankenstein, but it’s much more a film about – the thing that I hope will make it stand out is the relationship between James’ character and I. Victor and Igor are two people who come to need each other very much. The thing for me of the movie is actually about creation and, you know, Igor, my character, is taken out of this horrible abused life at the beginning of the movie and James sort of saves him and gives him this new life, sort of creating him in some sense, in creating this life that he has, and so because of that and because of the life he’s been saved from, Igor feels forever that he has this sort of debt of loyalty and the film then becomes about how much can that debt be pushed? How much can that loyalty be pushed before – at what point do you have to step out from the shadows of the person that created you and go, ‘I am my own person?’ Or, do you forever defer to the person that is responsible for your life? So it’s sort of, it’s a film about relationships set against the backdrop of creating monsters.”
That’s an intriguing thought, for sure. Most Frankenstein stories tend to focus on the monster more than the man who created him, so a tale entirely devoted to the ambitious doctor and Igor could turn out to be a terrific idea. Radcliffe went a step further during the interview to confirm that Frankenstein’s monster is not a central part of the story:
“One of the biggest differences between us and other Frankensteins will be that, generally speaking, the main relationship is between Frankenstein and the monster and the monster is created in the middle of the movie, and in our version it’s created right at the end and the journey up to that is really about how we come to that eventual idea. I’ve heard other people call it kind of an origin story for Frankenstein, but it’s an origin story for a Frankenstein you have never met before, if that helps. The quote that I got in trouble with with the producers was saying, ‘If you like the book, you’ll hate the movie.’ [Laughs]”
With two skilled actors like Radcliffe and McAvoy involved, Victor Frankenstein is certainly a project to watch. That Paul McGuigan (Push) is sitting behind the camera working from a script by Chronicle scribe Max Landis is also cause for excitement, as is the fact that the supporting cast includes Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott and Mark Gatiss.
Mark your calendars – Victor Frankenstein is alive on October 2nd, 2015.