‘Victor Frankenstein’ Is Not An Origin Story [Video]

Frankenstein is probably the most misunderstood and misinterpreted literary work in history. Once again, as we’re faced with another in a long line of films loosely related to the Frankenstein story, the story in its truest form is lost to younger generations too hurried and too obsessed with multimedia.

Victor Frankenstein promises to deliver an exciting and, at times, humorous cinematic treat.

Even the IMDb synopsis hints at an action-packed saga aimed at those seeking another reboot of the classic Frankenstein films of bygone eras.

“Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.”

Yet, to say that Victor Frankenstein is an origin story based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is so misleading that it robs those eager for faithful adaptations of Ms. Shelley’s original Frankenstein novel.

The latest poster for 'Victor Frankenstein,' starring Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, and Jessica Brown. Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

The clues that one is looking at a theatrical reboot of Frankenstein films and not film adaptations of Shelley’s novel are easy to spot, particularly for those aware that Victor Frankenstein’s friend was not, in fact, his assistant at all. That friend of Victor Frankenstein was Henry Clerval, not Igor.

If there is a character named Igor in the film, one is not watching a film adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.

Likewise, the monster (Victor’s creation) does not have a name. If the film one is watching features wildly panicked villagers running about in fear of a monster named Frankenstein, this also would not be a Frankenstein film adaptation.

That’s not to say films based on or rebooted from previous Frankenstein films aren’t entirely without merit, because they are certainly entertaining. The Hollywood classics that spawned the Frankenstein franchise saw some of the greatest performances ever given by icons like Peter Cushing and Boris Karloff and, while those films weren’t based on Shelley’s work, they will forever be remembered.

In fact, the most faithful adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in recent memorable would have to be Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 adaptation, entitled Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Likewise, Victor Frankenstein is not based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus nor may it be comparable to Mr. Cushing’s fine performances, yet it may be as highly entertaining a thrill-ride as the trailer and posters promise it to be.

Just don’t be fooled into thinking you’re seeing the author’s work put to film.

Victor Frankenstein will see a November 25 theatrical release.

[Featured image courtesy of Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Victor Frankenstein]