The days when Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was a bankable property have largely passed. Both of the most recent blockbuster adaptations–last year’s video game-like I, Frankenstein and 1994’s leaden, faithful Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein–were box office duds, and even an early 80’s Broadway adaptation is all-but synonymous with “theatrical bomb.” When it comes to Frankenstein and his Monster, we seem to like him best big, grey, and Boris Karloff-y, as a side character in post-modern reinterpretations of Victorian horror like Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, or reinterpreted in other settings like the Franken-Mountain on Game Of Thrones.
But the idea of a madcap, genius technologist and his associate pushing all boundaries in the interest of ending death is one that has plenty of appeal in this modern world in which we live, which makes the forthcoming Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy as the title character and Daniel Radcliffe as Igor–or maybe as Sergey Brin and Larry Page, depending on your perspective–one worth checking out. And in the first trailer for the film–out this November–the beats are traditional (Radcliffe cackles “It’s alive!” with relish), while the style is fundamentally up-to-date. Helmed by Paul McGuigan, with a script by American Ultra‘s Max Landis, Victor Frankenstein looks like a solid attempt to reanimate Shelley’s iconic tale one more time.