The Visionary Director Will Bring His Passion Project to Life
Netflix has been stirring up excitement with its latest endeavor, the highly-anticipated Frankenstein adaptation, directed by Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro. The film’s recent casting news has already generated a huge buzz online, and it’s no wonder why. With Andrew Garfield, Oscar Isaac, and Mia Goth leading the cast of del Toro’s latest monster flick, the film promises a gripping, chilling, and spellbinding journey into Mary Shelley’s timeless tale of science and the macabre.
Though there have been numerous Frankenstein films throughout the years, del Toro’s adaptation promises to stay truer to Shelley’s classic horror novel while offering a fresh perspective that is bound to captivate audiences worldwide. With the movie still in early development, little information about the film has been revealed. However, that hasn’t stopped the “maestro of horror” from revealing details about his latest project, which has been 15 years in the making. Here’s everything we know about del Toro and Netflix’s next horror masterpiece.
Del Toro’s Long-Awaited Vision
Del Toro’s journey to bring his vision of Frankenstein to the big screen has been anything but straightforward. This is not the first time the acclaimed director has attempted to adapt Mary Shelley’s literary masterpiece. Back in 2008, del Toro had a first-look deal with Universal, who picked up the project with actor Doug Jones attached to playing the iconic monster. Jones, who has worked with del Toro on several projects, including Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water, and the Hellboy movies, sat through extensive make-up tests before finding out the project was scrapped due to Universal’s plans to create a shared monster cinematic universe.
Del Toro eventually parted ways with the studio, not wanting to make a movie that was part of a bigger universe which he would have little control over. In 2013, he attempted to jumpstart the project on his own with hopes of bringing Charlie Kaufman on board to write the screenplay and Benedict Cumberbatch to star in the lead role. However, the director’s attempts were short-lived, as the project never moved forward.
Universal’s vision for a shared universe eventually fell to pieces after the box-office failure of 2017’s The Mummy. The studio decided to axe their Dark Universe franchise, which saw the cancellation of several films already in development, including a Frankenstein and a Bride of Frankenstein movie, with Javier Bardem and Angelina Jolie already cast in the title roles.
Six years after Universal’s ill-fated attempt at a cinematic universe, del Toro came forward announcing plans to finally bring his Frankenstein movie to life with Netflix on board backing the project. Del Toro’s persistence had paid off. Earlier this month, at an IMAX screening of Pacific Rim, del Toro mentioned how important Frankenstein means to him as a director and the timing in bringing his vision to life after all these years.
“I have been wanting to do [this] for 50 years since I saw the first Frankenstein. I had an epiphany, and it’s basically a movie that required a lot of growth and a lot of tools that I couldn’t have done 10 years ago. Now I’m brave or crazy enough or something,” said the director.
A Stellar Ensemble Cast
The anticipation surrounding del Toro’s Frankenstein has reached new levels, thanks to the brilliant casting of Andrew Garfield, Oscar Isaac, and Mia Goth in the lead roles. Garfield, known for his exceptional versatility in films like 2014’s Under the Silverlake, 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge, and 2021’s Tick Tick…Boom! will portray the morally conflicted Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The Academy Award-nominated actor is sure to provide a captivating performance that captures the character’s descent into obsession and madness in an emotionally complex way that audiences haven’t seen before.
As the film’s tortured creature, Oscar Isaac’s portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster is sure to be equally promising as Garfield’s Victor Frankenstein. Isaac’s ability to convey raw emotion and existential angst is bound to resonate with audiences, adding a new layer of depth to the character. Isaac’s past work in films such as 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis, and 2014’s A Most Violent Year demonstrate the actor’s profound understanding of complex roles.
Joining Isaac’s monster on the big screen is Mia Goth as Frankenstein’s Bride. Goth, known for her twisted and enigmatic roles in films like 2023’s Infinity Pool and 2022’s Pearl, is the perfect choice to play del Toro’s Bride. Her haunting beauty and ethereal presence can convey a sense of mystery and vulnerability to the character.
Also on board in an undisclosed role is Christoph Waltz. Waltz’s name was announced recently, but there hasn’t been any information on who the Academy Award-winning actor will play. Given the actor’s range, it’s easy to see Waltz taking on the role of Igor, the hunchback assistant to Victor Frankenstein. However, if del Toro does want to stay true to Shelley’s vision, then Waltz may portray Henry Clerval, Victor’s friend, in the novel.
A Masterpiece in the Making
As del Toro’s Frankenstein continues to take shape, it is evident that this adaptation will stand out not only among horror films but also within the director’s esteemed filmography. Del Toro has stated that his adaptation will focus on the father-and-son relationship between Frankenstein and the Creature. This recurring theme has been explored in his most recent films like 2017’s The Shape of Water and 2021’s Nightmare Alley. The director’s commitment to remaining true to the essence of Shelley’s novel, coupled with his unwavering dedication to exploring the themes of creation, responsibility, and the emotional bond between father and son, ensures a cinematic experience that will honor the source material while offering a fresh perspective.
With production slated to begin in February (given the actors’ strike ends before then), the possibility of getting our first glimpse at del Toro’s Frankenstein might be in store in the near future. However, one thing’s for sure: Netflix’s newest adaptation is poised to become a major contender in the realm of horror films as del Toro’s signature blend of darkness and beauty will be on full display.
Official 1931 Frankenstein Trailer