Guillermo Del Toro is on a roll at Netflix. After delivering his first two major projects for the streamer in 2022, eyes are now looking toward his future under his overall deal. What’s on Netflix has learned Netflix is eying a Dr. Frankenstein movie with the creator, and Oscar Isaac is hoped to star.
Editor’s note: this report was first published on December 5th and has been updated with additional details. Netflix has still yet to confirm the project publicly.
Netflix struck an overall deal with Guillermo Del Toro back in August 2020, with Pinocchio and Cabinet of Curiosities being his first major titles for the service. Before this deal, however, Del Toro also worked on the DreamWorks Television series Trollhunters (plus its subsequent sequels), and Five Came Back.
While we’re waiting for a renewal order for Cabinet of Curiosities, attention has rightfully turned to what’s next from the creator.
In early December 2022, Guillermo del Toro teased one of his upcoming projects will be a monster movie.
Speaking to the Variety Awards Podcast, del Toro told them about his next project, saying:
“Well, I’m working on a monster movie; I cannot say the title because it may change, and I could end up making something else. But right now, I’m writing and designing. And we have for the last couple of years. Hopefully, it’ll be next, but anything can happen.”
First published in 1818, Frankenstein has become an icon in the horror space for decades and centuries. Although Universal Pictures re-copyrighted the character, the story of Frankenstein is within the public domain.
Netflix optioned Frankenstein in March 2022 from Elizabeth S. Wrightson. This is likely optioning the visual representation that Bernie Wrightson developed for the character who sadly passed away in 2017.
As mentioned, we’re told Oscar Isaac is in talks to star in the feature film. Isaac is best known for roles in Dune, Disney+’s Moon Knight, and Star Wars, plus featured in Netflix’s Triple Frontier.
Production, we’re told, is due to start in June 2023 with Exile Entertainment on boar.
New listings from production sites BTL and ProductionWeekly also now list the project since our first reporting in early December.
Both list the logline as follows:
“Set in Easter Europe in the 19th Century, the story of Dr. Pretorious, 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.”
Producer Gary Ungar is also attached to the project. Ungar worked as producer on Netflix’s Pinocchio and has also been attached to projects like The Strain, Gothika, and Modigliani.
Guillermo Del Toro was attached to a Dr. Frankenstein project a decade ago
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Del Toro looking to delve into the world of Frankenstein or his love of the character.
The film director reportedly has busts of Boris Karloff as the monster in his house and has been developing a project for over a decade.
Collider spoke to Doug Jones about the scrapped project back in October 2020 and speculated the project, set up at Universal Pictures in the late 2000s, was killed after the disappointment at the box office for The Dark Universe.
Back in 2008, Del Toro spoke about his love for the IP and what his plans were for the project then telling Coming Soon:
“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. The one thing I can promise is, compared to Kenneth Branagh, I will not appear shirtless in the movie!”
That’s all we know for now; we’ll keep looking for more details as and when we get them. Let us know in the comments if you’d like to see Guillermo Del Toro tackling Dr. Frankenstein in the comments below.