Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stuart Beattie|
|Produced by||Tom Rosenberg
|Screenplay by||Stuart Beattie|
|Story by||Kevin Grevioux
|Based on||I, Frankenstein
by Kevin Grevioux
|Music by||Johnny Klimek
|Editing by||Marcus D'Arcy|
Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
|Running time||92 minutes|
I, Frankenstein is a 2014 Australian-American fantasy action film written and directed by Stuart Beattie, based on the graphic novel and original screenplay by Kevin Grevioux. It stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Socratis Otto, Jai Courtney and Kevin Grevioux.
In 1795, Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Aden Young) creates a monster (Aaron Eckhart), a soulless creature patched together from corpses, and then rejects it. In a fit of rage, the creature kills Victor's wife Elizabeth (Virginie Le Brun) and Victor chases it to the Arctic to get revenge, but succumbs to the weather. The creature buries his creator and is then attacked by demons, before being rescued by gargoyles Ophir (Mahesh Jadu) and Keziah (Caitlin Stasey), who bring it before the gargoyle queen, Lenore (Miranda Otto), and their commander, Gideon (Jai Courtney). Lenore explains that they were created by the Archangel Michael to battle demons on Earth and protect humanity. They name the creature "Adam" and invite him to join them, but he declines and departs after being given weapons that allow him to "descend" demons (destroying their bodies and trapping their souls in Hell) as they have the symbol of the Gargoyle Order carved on them.
Throughout the centuries, Adam fends off the demons that pursue him. During a modern-day confrontation at a nightclub, a human police officer is killed. While Adam is summoned by the gargoyles once more, the demon Helek (Steve Mouzakis) reports that Adam is alive to his leader, the demon-prince Naberius (Bill Nighy), who is disguised as billionaire businessman Charles Wessex, and his right-hand man, Dekar (Kevin Grevioux). Wessex has employed scientist Terra Wade (Yvonne Strahovski) to conduct experiments with reanimated corpses, and sends a group of demons led by his most formidable warrior, Zuriel (Socratis Otto), to attack the gargoyles' cathedral and capture Adam so he can unlock the secret to giving life.
Before Lenore can punish Adam for the police officer's death, the cathedral is attacked, and Adam convinces Ophir to release him. In the ensuing battle, a number of gargoyles, including Ophir and Keziah, are "ascended" (returned to and trapped in Heaven) while Lenore is captured and brought to an abandoned theater. Adam and Gideon head there where Gideon exchanges Lenore for Victor Frankenstein's journal, containing the secrets of the experiment. Adam follows Zuriel to the Wessex Institute, where he learns that Naberius plans to recreate Frankenstein's experiment and create thousands of reanimated corpses as the souls of the descended demons will be able to return from Hell if they have soulless bodies to possess. Adam retrieves the journal and escapes and later confronts Terra before they are attacked by Zuriel. Adam manages to "descend" Zuriel.
Adam warns the remaining gargoyles of Naberius' plan and Lenore sends Gideon to kill him and retrieve the journal. After a violent fight, Adam is forced to "ascend" Gideon and then decides to burn Frankenstein's journal and destroy its secrets before the gargoyles come after him. Adam evades them, leading them to the Wessex Institute where they join battle with Naberius' demons, descending Dekar early in the fight. While the battle progresses, Adam ventures into the Institute to rescue Terra, who had been kidnapped by Naberius, who takes his true demonic form and activates the machine. Naberius tries to have one of the demon spirits possess Adam, but he proves immune as he has earned himself a soul. As the gargoyles attempt to stop the reanimated demons, Adam battles Naberius and carves the symbol of the Gargoyle Order on him, sanctifying his very body and utterly destroying it, descending Naberius alongside all the other demons in his army, and causing the entire building to collapse.
Recognizing Adam's bravery, Lenore rescues him and Terra and forgives Adam for Gideon's death. Adam retrieves his weapons. After bidding farewell to Terra, Adam departs to begin an immortal quest to protect the humans of the world and hunt demons for selfless reasons, the attitude that had earned him his soul in the first place. In so doing, he embraces his role and his true name of "Frankenstein".
- Aaron Eckhart as Adam Frankenstein/Frankenstein's monster, a superhuman being created from science using various parts of corpses and electricity.
- Bill Nighy as Charles Wessex/Prince Naberius, head of the Wessex Institute, leader of the demons, and one of the original fallen angels who fell from Heaven with Satan.
- Yvonne Strahovski as Terra Wade, a scientist employed by Naberius to unlock the secrets to give life.
- Miranda Otto as Leonore, an angel sent to lead the gargoyles.
- Socratis Otto as Zuriel, Naberius' most formidable warrior.
- Jai Courtney as Gideon, leader of the gargoyle army.
- Kevin Grevioux as Dekar, Wessex head of security and a high-ranking demon.
- Steve Mouzakis as Helek, a demon serving under Naberius.
- Aden Young as Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist and Adam's creator.
- Caitlin Stasey as Keziah, a gargoyle who helps to save Adam from the demons.
- Deniz Akdeniz as Barachel
- Virginie Le Brun as Elizabeth Lavenza-Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein's wife.
- Goran D. Kleut as Rekem
- Mahesh Jadu as Ophir, a gargoyle.
Kevin Grevioux of Underworld sold the original screenplay to Lakeshore Entertainment in 2010. It is based on his Darkstorm Studios graphic novel of the same name. Lakeshore, an independent Los Angeles production company which also produced the Underworld films, brought Stuart Beattie on board to re-write and direct in early 2011. In November 2011, it was confirmed that filming would take place in Melbourne and that Australia's Hopscotch Features would co-produce the film with Lakeshore.
Principal photography began on February 27, 2012, based at Docklands Studios Melbourne. Filming occurred in Victoria, Australia over a period of ten weeks, with multiple scenes being filmed at Ormond College. The film created over 500 jobs for cast and crew.
It was announced on October 7, 2011 that Aaron Eckhart would play the lead role. Eckhart described his character thus: "Frankenstein is an intelligent, evolved man, and that’s how he is portrayed in this movie, for sure." In November 2011, Yvonne Strahovski was cast as the female lead, a scientist working to reanimate the dead, while Miranda Otto was cast as the queen of the gargoyles. Bill Nighy plays the film's villain, whom he described as a "Nasty piece of work; one of the angels descended with Satan." Eckhart and Otto trained for three months with martial arts experts Ron Balicki and Diana Lee Inosanto in the Filipino martial art of Kali for their fight scenes.
The North American release was set for February 22, 2013, but five months before then it was moved to September 13, 2013. In February 2013, it was announced the film would be released in 3D. In April 2013 the release date was moved again, to January 24, 2014. On September 17, 2013, it was announced that the film would be digitally re-mastered and released in the IMAX format.
I, Frankenstein received almost entirely negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 4% rating, with an average score of 3.2/10, based on 71 reviews. On Metacritic, the film holds a 30 (out of 100), based on 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Mike McCahill of The Guardian gave the film 2 stars and Total Film also gave it 2 stars. Among the film's three positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes was Ben Sachs, who said of the film "The novel premise quickly gives way to lots of chaotic action, though there are numerous incidental pleasures throughout."
On its opening weekend, it debuted at #6 with a box-office of $8.6 million. As of March 9 2014, the film has grossed $18,900,098 in North America, and $50,409,000 elsewhere, for a worldwide total of $69,309,098.
Potential sequels and Underworld crossover
Much doubt has been cast over a sequel due to the film's lackluster box office performance, though Kevin Grevioux, creator of the graphic novel and the Underworld film series, had earlier expressed interest in making more I, Frankenstein films along with an Underworld crossover film. He stated in a pre-release interview that, in an early draft of his screenplay, Kate Beckinsale would have made a post-credits cameo appearance as Selene and that there would have been Underworld Easter eggs, but none of this was used.
- "I, FRANKENSTEIN (12A)". Entertainment Film Distributors. British Board of Film Classification. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- I, Frankenstein Lives at Lakeshore - ComingSoon.net
- Lakeshore Greenlights I, Frankenstein | /Film
- Kevin Grevioux reveals the secrets of I, Frankenstein | Blastr
- I, Frankenstein Franchise Coming At You From Lakeshore
- Lakeshore Eyes New Franchise With 'I, Frankenstein'
- Fernandez, Jay A. (March 28, 2011). "Stuart Beattie to Write and Direct 'I, Frankenstein' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Craven, Jessica (November 9, 2011). "Gothic thriller I, Frankenstein to be filmed in Melbourne". Herald Sun. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
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- Radish, Christina (October 14, 2011). "Aaron Eckhart Talks I, FRANKENSTEIN". Collider. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Kit, Borys (November 17, 2011). "'Chuck' Star Yvonne Strahovski to Play Scientist in 'I, Frankenstein' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
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- "I, Frankenstein Moves to September, Snitch Takes Its February Spot". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- Vlessing, Etan (February 12, 2012). "Lionsgate’s I, Frankenstein to Receive 3D Release". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Chitwood, Adam (April 2013). "Release Date Shuffle: I, Frankenstein Pushed to January 2014, Insidious 2 Moved Up, Austenland Set for 8/16, Walk of Shame Opens 9/20/". Collider.com. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Canada NewsWire (September 17, 2013). "Lionsgate and Lakeshore's I, Frankenstein Rages into IMAX Theatres Across the U.S. Starting January 24, 2014". Digital Journal. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- "Johnny Klimek & Reinhold Heil Scoring I, Frankenstein". Film Music Reporter. August 2, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- Collum, Scott (July 20, 2013). "Comic Con: I, Frankenstein Looks Crazy". IGN.com. IGN. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Barnadello, Kate (July 21, 2013). "I, Frankenstein Queries Immortality with Photos at San Diego Comic-Con". Shockya.com. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- "Exclusive Video with I, Frankenstein Director Stuart Beattie". Fear Net.com. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Fischer, Russ (October 4, 2013). "I, Frankenstein Trailer; What if Mary Shelly's (sic) Monster was in an Underworld Movie?". /Film. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- "I, Frankenstein". Metacritic. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
- "I, Frankenstein". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 9, 2014., making it a box office bomb.
- Philbick, Jami (January 21, 2014). "IAR Exclusive Interview: Kevin Grevioux Talks I, Frankenstein, A Possible Sequel and Crossover with the 'Underworld' Franchise". I Am Rogue.com. Rogue. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Official website
- I, Frankenstein at the Internet Movie Database
- I, Frankenstein at Box Office Mojo
- I, Frankenstein at Rotten Tomatoes
- I, Frankenstein at Metacritic