Guillermo Del Toro must now officially be the busiest man in Hollywood. He has projects lined up, back-to-back, until 2017.
Of the projects he's currently working on, the one that really caught my eye (seeing as I'm a sucker for all things horror-related) was a remake/reimagining of the 1931 classic 'Frankenstein'.
Lucky for me then, that at a recent meeting with the Director's Guild of America, Del Toro was heard to spill the beans as to what kind of direction he would be taking the film. Amid lots of talk about his upcoming Hobbit adaptation he stated:
"I'm not doing 'Mary Shelly's Frankenstein.' I'm doing an adventure story that involves the creature. I cannot say much, but it's not the central creation story, I'm not worried about that. The fact is I've been dreaming of doing a 'Frankenstein' movie since I was a child."
Then, in a sly nod to the critically panned 1994 adaptation said:
The one thing I can promise is, compared to Kenneth Branagh, I will not appear shirtless in the movie!"
It appears that Del Toro is following in Peter Jackson's King Kong sized footsteps again, remaking a film that he has loved since childhood and he has admitted to being a huge influence on his career (Del Toro apparently owns busts of Boris Carloff as the Monster). The difference here seems to be that where Jackson's Kong remake was a straight re-telling of the original story, it appears Del Toro's Frankenstein will put the famous monster in places and situations we have never seen (or possibly even dreamt of) before.
As a general rule, I think that remakes should be kept to an absolute minimum, there's no need in my eyes to re-film a story when there is a perfectly good movie of that story already in existence (though I admit that on a few occasions, the remake has exceeded the original in terms of quality). However, I am less skeptical of films that use established characters as a springboard to create an original experience, such as John Carpenter's The Thing, and this seems to be the direction Del Toro is heading. I'm very interested to see what he can come up with for the Frankenstein character, I admit that when I first read that he was doing 'an adventure story' my mind immediately jumped to Frankenstein Conquers The World.
Unfortunately I doubt Del Toro could possibly live up to such a masterpiece.