The first images from Paul McGuigan’s (Push, Lucky Number Slevin) adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Gothic horror story Frankenstein have emerged. They reveal some insight into the ‘Igor’ character (Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant) played by the Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, who is joined in the film by James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class, Atonement) as Victor Von Frankenstein and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) as Igor’s love interest.
20th Century Fox is producing the film with a screenplay by Max Landis (Chronicle). In an interview with Screencrush Landis states, ” I began to pick apart our knowledge of Frankenstein and discovered that the public’s idea of this myth comes from a million different places…I became committed to recontextualizing it all so it worked in one story. By the end of the day, yeah it’s a period piece, and yes, it’s Igor’s perspective, but man it’s cool…It’s the best thing I’ve ever written.” Daniel Radcliffe, soon to be seen in Alexandre Aja’s fantasy/horror/thriller adaptation of Joe Hill’s novel Horns, added, “It’s far and away the best script I’ve read coming out of a big studio in the time I’ve been off the Harry Potter series.”
Oddly, the character of Igor does not appear in the Shelley novel, but emerged out of the cliche of a hunchback ogre butler in many Gothic horror stories. Igor was characterized by Dwight Frye in the classic 1931 Frankenstein, where his name was actually Fritz, and his portrayal has remained the iconic image in the public’s imagination. Not even Bela Lugosi (who played the part in a later film) could top it. As you can see from the first image of Radcliffe on set, he is almost a handsome character, though pale and somewhat spooky.
The underlying theme of Frankenstein has always been one of friendship and redemption and this will remain true in Max Landis’ adaptation as well. A firm release date of January 16, 2015 is in place.