As one of the more exciting films currently in development, Mary Shelley’s Monster is slowly coming to life. Telling the story of the influential young author, the movie will track her progress as she pens the legendary tale that secured her place in the annals of literary history, while negotiating that eventual fame at a heavy personal cost.
Mary – the wife of poet Percy Shelley – published the gothic story anonymously at the age of 21 in 1818, but this cinematic exploration of that period of her life is not intended to be a dry biography. On the contrary, it will take an altogether different approach, as producer Rose Ganguzza (Kill Your Darlings) explained:
“[It is] the story of the most extraordinary 19th century teenage heroine told in a visceral, sexy, contemporary way. Our film is not a period drama. It is a story of youth that transcends time, a gothic romance, a love triangle that involves a dark passenger and we are tremendously excited to have such an exciting cast onboard this wonderful project.”
That cast now comprises Sophie Turner (Game Of Thrones) in the lead role of Mary Shelley, and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as her husband and poet Percy. Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) also stars as Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont. The film will be directed by Coky Giedroyc – who recently helmed two episodes of the TV series, Penny Dreadful – and is written by screenwriter Deborah Baxtrom.
The prospect of such an interesting film project is leading to steadily increasing anticipation. A female director working from a script by a female writer, on a film about one of the most prominent and important female authors in history is unusual to say the least, but incredibly welcome. Amidst a cinematic landscape filled with tedious shoot-em-ups, boring toy-based fare, and the occasional amusing comedy, Mary Shelley’s Monster is looking like a film to make some space for.