Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein may be a public domain story, but the vast majority of the iconic monster’s most recent live-action appearances have attempted to reinvent the character with wildly inconsistent results. Aaron Eckhart took top billing in the awful box office bomb I, Frankenstein, while James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe lent their talents to revisionist fantasy Victor Frankenstein, which also tanked.
The Dark Universe’s Bride of Frankenstein with Angelina Jolie and Javier Bardem dissipated when the would-be franchise imploded, but thankfully, the monster and his creator were admittedly handled much better in Showtime’s cult favorite series Penny Dreadful. As one of the most iconic figures in literature, a new take on Frankenstein tends to arrive every few years or so, and Universal are already developing a fresh spin on the story as they look to reinvent their stable of classic monsters once more following the success of The Invisible Man.
However, there’s also a new small screen take on the material currently in the works, which is being designed as a premium TV series with the potential to return for multiple seasons. It hasn’t landed on a network or streaming service just yet, but the project is being shopped around by Stone Village Television, with the company’s previous credits including Las Vegas, Empire Falls and upcoming HBO Max series Station Eleven.
Much like his contemporary Dracula, Frankenstein is always going to be updated for modern audiences, especially when public domain status means that literally anybody can have a crack at it. That being said, the basic mythology has been seen and done so many times already that trying to find a new and interesting angle is becoming increasingly difficult with each new adaptation.