“I’m a total monster geek,” award-winning playwright turned go-to James Bond scriptwriter John Logan said when asked how he wound up writing and exec producing Showtime’s psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful. The pay cable network has ordered eight episodes of the series that features some of literature’s most iconic monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Billie Piper star.
Reading a lot of Wordsworth led him to re-read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, he explained, adding, “I started thinking about why, almost 200 years later, we’re still reading ‘Frankenstein‘ and I think it’s because the monster breaks my heart. Growing up as a gay man before that was as socially acceptable as it is now, I knew what it was like not to feel socially acceptable, but the same thing that made me monstrous to some people made me who I was.” Re-visting Frankenstein, he said, “I wept reading about the pathos and suffering of the poor, vengeful, monstrous creature.“ Read More »
David Fincher’s Gone Girl will be released on October 3, 2014, Fox said this morning as it jiggered its release slate for next fall. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star in the adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel, about a husband whose wife disappears on the day of their fifth anniversary, and all roads point to him as the killer. To make room, Fox shifted Book Of Life, the previous film on that date, back two weeks to October 17, and it shoved back its James McAvoy-starrer Frankenstein from October 17, 2014 to the decidedly less Halloween-friendly date of January 16, 2015. That will make the release of the Paul McGuigan-directed adaptation of the Mary Shelley monster classic out about a full year after Lionsgate/Lakeshore’s version I Frankenstein, which is set for January 2014. Fox also confirmed that Son Of God, the feature version of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s History miniseries The Bible, will open wide on February 28, 2014.
Related: Mark Burnett’s ‘The Bible’ Feature Film Gets February 2014 Release Date
Aaron Eckhart stars as the stitched-together monster hero of Lionsgate’s I, Frankenstein, which finds the classic Mary Shelley character using his inhuman martial arts skills to take on warring immortal clans. The CG-heavy modern-day action pic is directed by Collateral scribe Stuart Beattie and adapted by Kevin Grevioux from his own graphic novel. Bill Nighy and Yvonne Strahovski co-star in the pic which hits theaters January 24. Here’s the first trailer:
Now that her run on ITV & PBS’s Downton Abbey is over, Jessica Brown Findlay has landed her next period gig. She’ll play opposite Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy in Fox‘s Frankenstein, which tells the classic Mary Shelley tale from the POV of Igor, Victor Frankenstein’s assistant. Findlay is repped by WME, Management 360 and Troika in the UK.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox‘s search for the right actor to play Victor Von Frankenstein alongside Daniel Radliffe’s Igor in the Paul McGuigan-directed film has ended. The studio has chosen its X-Men: First Class star James McAvoy and the dealmaking is underway. This was a coveted role, and the studio recently tested actors that included Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston, and Toby Kebbell, whose breakout was the Guy Ritchie-directed RocknRolla. John Davis’ Davis Entertainment is producing.
While Marvel’s Hall H Comic-Con panel is always the one to beat, McAvoy was part of a Fox panel that preceded it and might well have upstaged the day when, after Hugh Jackman and James Mangold talked about The Wolverine, Jackman brought out Bryan Singer and the entire cast of X-Men: Days Of Future Past. McAvoy most recently appeared in the Danny Boyle-directed Trance, and wrapped Filth and The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Him And Her. He is repped by UTA and United Agents.
Following Disney/Pixar’s 2016-2018 animated slate announcement, 20th Century Fox has updated its release schedule through 2018. Ten untitled Fox/DreamWorks Animation/Blue Sky animated pics have been dated for 2017 and 2018, though only one will face off directly against Disney, when the Untitled Fox/DreamWorks Animation/Blue Sky project goes head to head with Untitled Pixar Animation pic on June 16, 2017. Fox also set its Daniel Radcliffe-starring Frankenstein for October 17, 2014, and sequel Alvin & The Chipmunks 4 for December 11, 2015. Ridley Scott‘s The Counselor starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, and Javier Bardem has been moved up from November 15, 2013, to October 25. The animated Day of the Dead-themed Book Of Life will arrive a week early, moving to October 3, 2014. Here’s the full Fox slate update: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Screenwriter-director Stuart Beattie has signed with Resolution. He follows his longtime agent Martin Spencer, who moved from CAA to join Jeff Berg’s agency start-up. Beattie’s credits include Collateral, Pirates Of The Caribbean, 30 Days Of Night, and G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra. He just directed his script I, Frankenstein for Lakeshore with Lionsgate distributing, and is adapting the Laini Taylor novel Daughter Of Smoke And Bone for Universal and producer Joe Roth. This follows the move of Doug Liman to Resolution and Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli to WME in the wake of Spencer and Adam Kanter’s exits for Resolution. I expect there will be more client fallout to follow. Beattie is a writer who works all the time on big studio projects and this is a coup for Resolution.
Daniel Radcliffe, having graduated from Hogwarts and the Harry Potter films, is in talks to play Igor in Frankenstein, 20th Century Fox‘s revamp of the Mary Shelley classic novel. Max Landis wrote it and John Davis is producing.
EXCLUSIVE: TNT has put in development Frankenstein, a drama series from Lionsgate Television and 1019 Entertainment based on the five Frankenstein novels by Dean Koontz, which have sold more than 20 million copies.
Feature writer James V. Hart (Dracula, Hook) and his son Jake Hart will write the project, a modern-day reworking of the classic Frankenstein mythology. It is set in present-day New Orleans and follows Victor Helios (Frankenstein) and his creation 200 years after they thought they killed each other in a battle in the Arctic. The creature has survived and Victor has used science to keep himself alive — and they’re now in the same city unbeknownst to each other. Victor has engineered a new race of bizarre beings who answer to him, and when the creature learns that Victor is alive, an epic war ensues built on 200 years of pent-up rage, with New Orleans caught in the middle. James Hart will executive produce alongside Koontz, whose books have sold more that 450 million copies worldwide, and 1019 Entertainment principals Terry Botwick and Ralph Winter. 1019 Entertainment acquired rights to Koontz’s Frankenstein book series in 2010 for what was originally envisioned as a feature franchise series.
Koontz’s Frankenstein actually originated on TV with the 2004 original movie/backdoor pilot Frankenstein on USA based on his concept, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, directed by Marcus Nispel and starred Parker Posey, Vincent Perez and Thomas Kretschmann. It didn’t go to series, and a year later, Koontz launched his book series with Prodigal Son.
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Danny Boyle‘s production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at London’s National Theatre is coming to select U.S. cinemas June 6-7. The two-night showing is presented by NCM’s Fathom Events, in collaboration with National Theatre Live and BY Events. Boyle’s Frankenstein was written by Nick Dear and starred Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch — the actors alternated playing Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the Creature. Those performances earned the pair a joint Best Actor prize at London’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards in 2011. Boyle’s production of Dear’s reinterpretation of the gothic tale was filmed twice, so audiences can see both men in both parts. Originally performed and recorded live in March of last year, Frankenstein will be broadcast to more than 200 U.S. movie theaters. As Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva has noted, Miller has been cast as Sherlock Holmes in CBS’ pilot Elementary while Cumberbatch can be currently seen playing a modern-day Sherlock in PBS’ Sherlock, which just kicked off its second season in the U.S.
With a record seven awards Matilda The Musical dominated tonight’s Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House in London. Based on the Roald Dahl children’s story about a child with psychokinetic powers, Matilda surpassed the previous record of six awards set in 1980 by Nicholas Nickleby. Best actress in a musical award went to four girls in Matlida’s cast: Cleo Demetriou, Kerry Ingram, Sophia Kiely and Eleanor Worthington Cox, ages between 10 and 12 years old. They are believed to be the youngest ever winners of an Olivier Award. Director Matthew Warchus recieved his Olivier from James Earl Jones in New York via live link to the ceremony. In another shared honor, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller were jointly awarded best actor for roles in Frankenstein, alternating as Frankenstein and his creature.
Complete list of winners:
BEST NEW PLAY – COLLABORATORS at the Cottesloe
BEST REVIVAL – ANNA CHRISTIE at the Donmar Warehouse
BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY – DERREN BROWN / SVENGALI at the Shaftesbury
BEST ACTRESS – RUTH WILSON for Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse
BEST ACTOR – BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH AND JONNY LEE MILLER for Frankenstein at the Olivier
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – SHERIDAN SMITH for Flare Path at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL – THE MATILDAS for Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge (Cleo Demetriou, Kerry Ingram, Sophia Kiely and Eleanor Worthington Cox)
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL – BERTIE CARVEL for Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL – NIGEL HARMAN for Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
BEST NEW MUSICAL – MATILDA THE MUSICAL at the Cambridge
BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL – CRAZY FOR YOU at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
BEST DIRECTOR – MATTHEW WARCHUS for Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge
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EXCLUSIVE: Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski has been set for the female lead in I, Frankenstein. She’ll star opposite Aaron Eckhart, playing his love interest, a beautiful and gifted scientist. Stuart Beattie is directing and wrote the script based on the Kevin Grevioux graphic novel. The movie’s being produced by Hopscotch Features in partnership with Lakeshore Entertainment. Strahovski is repped by IFA, McKeon/Myones Entertainment and Sue Barnett & Associates.
As the 20th Century Fox 3D Fantastic Voyage continues to take forever to get underway (script is there, but it’s pricey and they’ve had trouble casting it), I’m hearing persuasively that director Shawn Levy will likely take another Fox film, Frankenstein, as his next effort. John Davis is producing it. Fox wants to move quickly on the Max Landis-scripted thriller based on the classic monster from Mary Shelley’s public domain novel, and I’m told the studio wants Levy. They are beginning creative conversations with an eye toward this filling his winter/spring slot. The studio is eager to get out in front of the seven other Frankenstein films that are percolating all over town. Levy’s latest film, the Hugh Jackman-starrer Real Steel, will be released Oct. 7 by Touchstone. He’s eyeing a handful of possible next projects, but I’m putting my money on it being Frankenstein. Meanwhile, Levy is producing Neighborhood Watch, the Akiva Schaffer-directed Fox comedy that stars Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, and which just got Jonah Hill aboard.
Dr. House can be a real pain in the ass, but he is not a monster. Well, that is exactly what veteran House writer-producers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend have in mind for the leading man in their next series project. The duo has sold a drama project to NBC through their overall deal at Universal Media Studios, the studio that produces House. Details on the project, which has a script commitment, are being kept under wraps, but it centers on a modern-day Frankenstein. Lerner and Friend have been on House since the beginning of Season 2, serving as executive producers for the past four years.
EXCLUSIVE: In the first project he has set at Sony Pictures Entertainment since exiting the co-president post to become a producer, Matt Tolmach is at the center of a preemptive pitch deal for Frankenstein. The film will be a contemporary version of the Mary Shelley novel. Craig Fernandez pitched the project and will write the script. Tolmach will produce through Matt Tolmach Productions.
Tolmach ended his run as co-president alongside Doug Belgrad on October 29 to take a multi-year producing deal at the studio that starts with him joining Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad as producers of the 3D Spider-Man reboot. That film begins production in the next few days with The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield playing the title role and Marc Webb directing.
Fernandez’s credits include the upcoming Lionsgate pic From Prada to Nada, described as a Latin spin on Sense and Sensibility. He also just scripted Everything Must Go, a DreamWorks Animation project based on Terry Pratchett’s The Bromeliad Trilogy, and is adapting the Octavia Butler novel Clay’s Ark for DreamWorks Animation and Shrek producer Aaron Warner. Original Artists’ Jordan Bayer, who brokered the Frankenstein deal, will soon shop Fernandez’ script The Courageous, a futuristic adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous that will be produced by Jon Shestack.
While Universal is known for its classic monster franchises, SPE went through … Read More »