By: Maggie Loyal
Not to be left behind while AMC and FX get to have all the frightful fun, Fox is getting into the monster mash with FRANKENSTEIN. The network has handed out a put pilot commitment to a new series from Rand Ravich (Life), who is writing the script and executive producing with Howard Gordon (Homeland). 20th Century Fox TV is producing with Gordon’s studio-based Teakwood Lane Productions. Hugh Fitzpatrick of Teakwood is also onboard as a co-executive producer.
This version of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic tale centers on Adam Tremble, a morally corrupt FBI agent who is given a second chance at life after he is brought back from the dead. Now younger and stronger, Tremble will have to choose between his old temptations and his new sense of purpose — dealing with threats beyond the FBI’s capabilities. To make matters worse, he’ll have to deal with his “creators” – an antisocial Internet billionaire and his bio-engineer twin sister. Let’s hope they don’t forget that Frankenstein is the creator, not the monster.
The story of Frankenstein is seeing something of a resurgence at the moment. Dr. Victor Frankenstein is featured on Showtime’s horror series Penny Dreadful. Bernard Rose is in pre-production on his own contemporary update of the novel, in which a husband and wife team of scientists create an undead creature in present day Los Angeles. The film currently has Carrie-Anne Moss and Danny Huston attached to star. Concurrently, Branded Pictures Entertainment is working on Mary Shelley’s Monster, staring Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner and Taissa Farmiga. Written by Deborah Baxtrom, the biopic is based on the tragic life of Mary Shelley, who lost her husband and two of their three children to tragedy, and later died of a brain tumor at the age of fifty-three.
On the big screen, Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein was released at the beginning of this year. The drama starred as Aaron Eckhart Frankenstein’s creature, who finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans. That’s to say nothing of the previous iterations of the story, including Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 attempt. But let’s not kid ourselves that Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein isn’t the best adaptation of Shelley’s novel.
Reasons abound why the doctor and his creation remain at the forefront of culture relevancy – fear of mortality, the human yearning for scientific progress, the fact that universities can charge an ungodly amount for a very short book. We’ll have to wait and see if Fox and Ravich can breathe new life into the story.