At one point there were almost as many Frankenstein projects planned as there are Republican presidential candidates. But not everybody can make it, and eventually certain projects get stalled, and certain candidates will be chased out of town with pitchforks and torches. One of the Frankenstein properties to actually rise from the electrically charged operating table is Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe as Dr. Frankenstein and Igor, respectively. Written by Max Landis, the film is being told from Igor’s point of view, so perhaps we’ll get new insights into the selection of Abby Normal’s brain.
Directed by Paul McGuigan, the trailer reveals a mix of action, special effects, and comedy, a technique that can succeed (Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes) or turn out awful (Stephen Sommers’ Van Helsing). Dr. Frankenstein’s hubris is played for laughs, with Radcliff’s Igor as the straight man to McAvoy’s outsized performance. Instead of just being hunted by his own creation, Frankenstein also appears to be pursued by investigators, who probably suspect the guy bringing dead things back to life might know something about the epidemic of stolen body parts.
While previously described as a prequel, Victor Frankenstein merely seems to focus the earlier parts of Mary Shelley’s novel. While the trailer doesn’t reference the tormented soul of an abandoned monster who never asked to be created, it does boast CGI Franken-dogs, slow-motion shots of people hurling torches, scientists getting blown back by explosions, and a nod to Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein when Victor corrects the pronunciation of his name. At least he’s not battling an army of demons and gargoyles. Probably.
Victor Frankenstein will faithfully capture the bombastic pyrotechnics and fraternal riffing of Shelley’s source material when it lurches into theaters on November 25.