Let it never be said that the world hasn't thought of different ways to put public domain stories to work. A new report by Deadline reveals that Stone Village Television and BlackBox Multimedia are working together to "adapt Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a premium TV series." Bradley McManus (Bodyguard of Lies) will pen the script for the series which will focus on "the behaviors and obsessions of a scientist exploring the fine thread between life and death — all set against the context of a year in which dependence on scientific breakthroughs has been paramount." The show will reportedly be set in Europe and the producers "want it to become a returnable franchise."
Though this description doesn't hint at anything specific, that's vague enough nomenclature on their part that it could be anytime, including right now. Will this version of Frankenstein be set in a COVID-19 plagued world? Will it return to the roots of the novel and work against the backdrop of the late 1700s? Anything is possible, and a modern version of the creature and his creator would be one way to differentiatie this version from the countless other Frankenstein films, shows, plays, and comics that have been produced over the years.
Stone Village Television's previous credits for the small screen include the syndicated NBC series Las Vegas, which starred James Caan and Josh Duhamel; the Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning HBO mini-series Empire Falls starring Paul Newman, Ed Harris, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Helen Hunt, Joanne Woodward and Robin Wright; and are currently filming the new HBO Max series Station Eleven. Based on the novel by Emily St. John Mandel and directed by Atlanta's Hiro Murai, the series stars Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel, and Gael Garcia Bernal.
Frankenstein remains a popular character and story for filmmakers and storytellers around the world with writer David Koepp still attached to pen a new version of The Bride of Frankenstein for Universal and actor Doug Jones recently opening up about the attempt made by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro to bring it to the big screen.
"Guillermo is a big fan of Bernie Wrightson, and a friend of Bernie Wrightson, and Bernie had illustrated a version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and all of the images of Frankenstein’s monster in that, that's what he was going to pattern my look after," Jones told Collider. "Which was more emaciated, little skinnier, little more pathetic looking. And yet, had an unnatural physical prowess, an unnatural athleticness to him. He was sewn together with spare parts of a couple different bodies. Very bony face, long, stringy, drawn hair. I never went through a makeup test myself for it. But I did go to the creature shop, Spectral Motion, who was developing the look for him at the time…I was there for something else, and Mike Elizalde, the owner of the shop, said 'I gotta show you something.' Then he unveiled a head and shoulders bust of me with this monster makeup built on it. It was like, honestly, my eyes welled it. It was so hauntingly beautiful, and it did pay reverence to Bernie Wrightson’s artwork and gave you a different-looking Frankenstein's monster than what you're used to."