I’m going to come clean. It’s weird doing interviews for I, Frankenstein. You see, I was on board the project back in ’09 to associate produce with a different team that is no longer involved. Hey, that’s the movie biz.
The only person who has been on board since the beginning is Kevin Grevioux (Underworld), the creator/writer (he also acts from time to time). So, any interview I do for the film is going to come with a bit of background on how the project and story started. (Why myself and the original director, Patrick Tatopoulos and the other producers are not on board is a long story and boring, I’m sure, for you guys.)
The first discussion I’ve had about the film – in the press ‘n talent sense – was during Comic-Con, when I caught up to Grevioux. After the jump, we talk about some of the alterations that were made to fit the new incarnation of the project – which is directed by Stuart Beattie – the world-building that’s involved and what he has heard about Underworld 5.
Shock Till You Drop: What has changed since we first worked on it…
Kevin Grevioux: A lot has changed. It underwent some revisions. After Lakeshore bought the idea and had the script, they wanted to make some changes. There were too many monsters for them. I wound up changing it to make Adam a Clint Eastwood. Take a little bit of the old Frankenstein from the past. Having this big fight with Dracula and being killed, so to speak, and being thrown into the ice where he’s frozen for a long period of time. He wakes up and he’s in this modern world going after Dracula for killing his wife. But that was, as they said, too many monsters. So, they substituted the vampires for demons. They took everything away except for the demons and the gargoyles. They’re trying to discover the source of Frankenstein’s power and bring the dead back to life.
Shock: Aaron Eckhart coming on board to play Adam was a surprise…
Grevioux: I thought it was great choice. My thing, of course, you remember we were looking at Ray Stevenson as someone who was as tall as I was. Aaron brought a lot of gravitas. The creature didn’t need to be that big, it was who the creature was, you know? Aaron brought a lot to it and instant credibility. That was an important thing.
Shock: When you’re doing world-building, how much is too much and how much is not enough?
Grevioux: You don’t know that until you’ve built it out. It’s better to have too much than too little. Then you have a viable universe from which to pull stories. With this, I wrote the screenplay and then wrote the graphic novel. But that enables you to see the IP and build it nicely – what do you need? Where do you see it going? I, Frankenstein probably gave me five ideas to spin out from.
Shock: Who is Adam here?
Grevioux: We wanted to make more of an action hero. We haven’t seen Frankenstein as an action movie yet. The story is an extrapolation of what Mary Shelley did. The monster is trying to have some sense of normalcy. God created man but he taught man morality, here Dr. Frankenstein created Adam and taught him nothing. Adam wants to know what it means to be human. It’s about him trying to gain that sense of humanity and fit into society.
Shock: Demons, gargoyles and Adam – does the public know about these creatures?
Grevioux: No, it’s hidden. It’s a hidden war that’s being waged. That’s how we did it.
Shock: What rumblings have you been hearing about the fifth Underworld film?
Grevioux: I think Kate wants to do another one. But I lost my rights on that a long time ago, I don’t know what they’re going to do with that.
I, Frankenstein opens January 24, 2014 in 2D/3D.