When someone recently commented to me that "Daniel Radcliffe's latest role is hilarious," I thought he was referring to the actor's cameo in Trainwreck as a dogwalker. Alas, this is not the case. Radcliffe's newest onscreen endeavor is actually the movie Victor Frankenstein, in which he plays the famed doctor's assistant Igor. Yes, Harry Potter is playing a character named Igor. In a Frankenstein reboot. This doesn't sound much like the plot of the original Mary Shelley book, but then again, I was in the 10th grade when I read that book and, to be honest, I actually only read the SparkNotes. So I had no way of knowing if Victor Frankenstein is based on the book without looking it up, but as it turns out, I was correct in thinking that the new narrative is a departure from the original story.
According to Collider, the new movie's plot, revealed when it was first announced by 20th Century Fox back in 2014, confirms that it's a change-up of the classic tale. The description was as follows:
"James McAvoy is Victor Von Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe stars as Igor in a unique, never-before-seen twist on Mary Shelley’s classic 19th century novel. Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Victor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man—and the legend—we know today."
So, the studio is categorizing the movie as a "twist" on the original story. I have no idea if said twist will be effective, but this filmmaking team isn't the first to try putting a spin on the legend of Frankenstein. Here are a few other movies that dug up the body of the story and assembled something new:
This motion picture from Universal was the first Frankenstein adaptation with spoken dialogue, and is largely considered the most famous classic film based on the story. Several spinoffs were subsequently made by the studio.
Any fan of Mel Brooks will love this classic satirical comedy, with memorable moments such as "It's pronounced "Fronkensteen!" and Gene Wilder's muffled "put...the candle....back."
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This world-famous cult film takes place in the castle of Dr. Frank N. Furter, and the titular Rocky is his monster.
Tim Burton's 2012 animated feature is derived not only from the original story, but is actually based on a short film of the same name that Burton first made back in 1984.
How will James MacAvoy and Danielle Radcliffe fare as the troubled scientist and his trusted assistant? You'll have to see Victor Frankenstein, in theaters Nov. 25, to find out. But I will say the following with some confidence: no two characters with such ridiculous names have ever looked so sharp.
Image: 20th Century Fox