One of the biggest upcoming Netflix movies we know about is a new horror from director Guillermo del Toro. Known as Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein, or more recently, Prodigal Father, here’s what’s known so far about the upcoming Netflix movie that’s due to get into production from February 2024.
Let’s quickly rewind to bring you up to speed. Since 2020, Guillermo del Toro has worked exclusively with Netflix under an overall deal. He’s produced two major titles for the streamer thus far, with the Oscar-winning Pinocchio and the anthology horror series Cabinet of Curiosities (both released in 2022).
In early December 2022, in a chat with the Variety Awards Podcast, Guillermo 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.”
Fast forward a few days, and we first unveiled that the monster movie at Netflix would be Dr. Frankenstein with Deadline, then confirming the project shortly afterward.
According to our intel, Netflix first optioned Elizabeth S. Wrightson’s Frankenstein in March 2022. This is optioning the visual representation that Bernie Wrightson developed for the character who sadly passed away in 2017.
The project has been in development in multiple locations before landing at Netflix, with Del Toro talking about the project as far back as 2008.
Gary Ungar and J. Miles Dale are producing the project, with Dan Laustsen serving as director of photography and Robin D. Cook and Denise Chamian casting the project. Jason Young is spearheading the project at Netflix.
Del Toro officially acknowledged the project himself at the Pacific Rim 10th Anniversary IMAX 3D Event in early October 2023, telling Collider:
“I’m doing Frankenstein. We’re working on it, we start shooting on it in February. It’s a movie I’ve been wanting to do for 50 years since I saw the first Frankenstein and I had an epiphany and is basically a movie that requires a lot of growht and a lot of tools that I couldn’t have done 10 years ago, 20 years ago and now I’m brave or crazy enough or something and we’re going to tackle it.”
What will Netflix’s Frankenstein be about?
The story will very much revolve around the classic tale of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s 1818 novel, which has been adapted countless times over the decades.
The current logline for the movie, which is set during the 1800s, is 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”
Who is starring in Netflix’s Frankenstein movie?
When we first unveiled the project, we stated that Oscar Isaac was eyed for one of the primary roles of the project. Isaac has been a titan of Hollywood in the last decade, appearing in titles like Dune and Star Wars. What’s on Netflix can confirm that Isaac is playing the role of the Monster.
The follow-up Deadline article states that Andrew Garfield (tick, tick… Boom!, The Amazing-Spiderman) and Mia Goth (Pearl, X) were in talks to star. They’re now confirmed. Garfield will be playing the role of the Doctor, and Goth will be playing the role of the Bride.
In October 2023, at the aforementioned Pacific Rim 10th Anniversary IMAX 3D Event, Guillermo del Toro confirmed all three castings and revealed that Christoph Waltz would star. Waltz recently featured in GDT’s Pinocchio, voicing Count Volpe. He’ll play a European male role.
We can also confirm that casting was underway for an older female role in the movie, plus another casting call went out for the following character:
“[CHIEF OFFICER LARSEN] Male, 40s, white. – Captain Anderson’s right hand, Chief Officer Larsen is a man of logic and reason who often acts as his superior’s conscience. Role requires performer to be able to speak Danish.”
Where is Frankenstein in production?
Our intel suggested that the movie was originally due to get underway with filming in the Summer of 2023. Sadly, that could not get going because of SAG-AFTRA starting their strikes from July 2023 onwards.
Over the summer, we’ve been scratching our heads with a consistently mentioned project called Prodigal Father. Thankfully, we’ve now connected that to this new Frankenstein. Whether it’s the full title or just a working title is unclear.
According to the DGC, “art and accounting” prep on the movie is due to begin in October 2023, again under the working title of Prodigal Father.
Recent updates on production sites like Ontario Creates currently lists Prodigal Father to begin filming on February 21st, 2024, with it then scheduled to wrap on June 13th, 2024. The movie is set to be filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is believed to be partly filmed in London, England.
What does this mean for a release date? Don’t count on it coming out in 2024. Given its genre, we’re currently predicting an October 2025 release date, although we’ll have to see how the project evolves over time.
This isn’t Guillermo’s only new project in store for us at Netflix. Following his previous success in the stop-motion world with Pinocchio, the creator will tackle The Buried Giant for the streamer in the same animated format. In addition, we know GDT is also working on a vampire movie called Vampire Tapestry (not yet confirmed by Netflix). Sadly, we’re still waiting on a renewal for Cabinet of Curiosities.
We’ll update this preview on everything we know about the upcoming Frankenstein project as soon as we get it. Let us know if you’re excited about the new project in the comments below.