Goth Chick News: del Toro Is Making Frankenstein for Realz (We Think)

Goth Chick News: del Toro Is Making Frankenstein for Realz (We Think)

Back in July of last year, I wrote a cautiously optimistic piece about Guillermo del Toro working on his own adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I say “cautiously” because as part of that article I also provided a Wikipedia page dedicated to del Toro’s “unrealized projects,” (30 by the way) which was a nice way of listing out all the times he ghosted us. Ironically, this list included Frankenstein. Since that time there has been a lot of back and forth, specifically regarding the strike by writers and actors, and whether or not those would kill del Toro’s film, or at the very least delay it right back into an “unrealized project.”

However, on January 7th, Deadline reported that Jacob Elordi whose movie career took off last year with starring roles in Priscilla and Saltburn, will take over the role of Frankenstein’s iconic monster in the del Toro treatment; a role that had been long rumored as going to actor Andrew Garfield. Deadline also reported that filming was getting underway in February (confirmed by a tweet from del Toro), possibly in Scotland where del Toro had been spotted off and on since 2022, at various sites in and around Edinburgh.

Jacob Elordi and the shoes he has to fill…

We also know that del Toro’s film will be part of his contract with Netflix rather than a big-screen movie. What’s On Netflix has reported that del Toro’s Frankenstein will be “set in Eastern Europe in the 19th Century, (and explore) the story of Dr. Pretorius, who needs to track down Frankenstein’s monster- who is believed to have died in a fire forty years before – in order to continue the experiments of Dr. Frankenstein.”

Doctor Septimus Pretorius is a character who appears in the Universal film Bride of Frankenstein (1935) as the main antagonist. Pretorius is the mentor who first points young Henry (Victor) on the path toward his unwholesome experiments with giving life to the dead.

The article also states that in March 2022 Netflix optioned the visual representation of Frankenstein, owned by Elizabeth S. Wrightson. This is the imagining of the monster that American artist Bernie Wrightson (1948-2017), Elizabeth’s husband, developed in 1983. With all this in mind, it is clear that del Toro’s Frankenstein will be a reimagining rather than a retelling of Shelley’s original work.

Bernie Wrightson’s monster

This new Frankenstein will mark del Toro’s second movie at Netflix, following his stop-motion Pinocchio in 2022, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Film. He has also produced various TV shows for the streaming service, including the horror anthology Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities and the animated Trollhunters franchise.

Del Toro previously said of his Frankenstein at the 10th-anniversary screening of Pacific Rim,

I’m doing Frankenstein. We’re working on it. We start shooting in February, and it’s a movie I have been wanting to do for 50 years since I saw the first Frankenstein. I had an epiphany, and it’s basically a movie that required a lot of growth and a lot of tools that I couldn’t have done 10 years ago. Now I’m brave or crazy enough or something, and we’re gonna tackle it.

Elordi joins previously announced cast members Mia Goth, Christoph Waltz, and Oscar Isaac, who will play Victor Frankenstein. According to Showbiz 411, it was strike-related scheduling conflicts led to Garfield’s departure, as opposed to any conflicts with the director or material. The news of Elordi’s casting also comes with the announcement that Felix Kammerer (All Quiet on the Western Front), Lars Mikkelsen (The Witcher), David Bradley (Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio) and Christian Convery (Sweet Tooth) have also been added to the call sheet.

Elordi told Entertainment Weekly in November that he ate a pound of bacon a day to prepare for his performance as Elvis. We don’t even want to know what he plans on eating to get into this role.

del Toro’s Frankenstein does not yet have a release date, so until it does, we remain cautiously optimistic.

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Thomas Parker

So – It’s alive! It’s alive! Maybe.

If this actually happens, Karloff (blessed be his name) isn’t the man to beat, it’s the Dr. Pretorius of the original Bride – Ernest Thesiger, one of the weirdest, most unique actors ever to appear in movies, and indelible in Bride and The Old Dark House.

We’ll see.


I’ve had an Emperor’s New Clothes reaction to Del Toro’s work for decades now but I’ll grant you this will at least be more interesting than anything anyone else would do at this point and the way cinema is going I don’t see the situation changing in the immediate future (if even my lifetime). Taking the Pretorious route is an interesting choice so I’ll give him that much. I can’t say I think much of the cast.

I sort of feel like the era (s) to do a worthwhile Frankenstein has passed but that could just be me. Personally, I would have loved to have gotten an animated adaptation of Bernie Wrightson’s vision by Richard Williams. As it is I’ll stick with Whale and the sadly underrated “Frankenstein: The True Story.” I do hope you and others enjoy this.

John Andrew Karr

I hope Del Toro has read Shelley’s novel, and recognizes how different most of the movie adaptations are from the original story.

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