Tea Leaves, Entrails and Frankenstein

I find Hollywood a fascinating place, though perhaps that’s because my view is a distant one.

Never mind the scandals, or whom is sleeping with whom–though that’s interesting too, though only in a cursory manner.  What I find infinitely more fascinating is how is it that decisions are made.

And while I doubt that it has anything to do with reading entrails or tea leaves, I have to wonder if it’s any more accurate.

For instance, if there was someone who had a whit of understanding what it is that comic book fans as well as the average movie goers are looking for, would we have ever had Fant4stic?

Probably not.

The same thing applies to Victor Frankenstein.  There are some good actors, like Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, but there’s something even more important missing, which is a reason why they’re making the movie in the first place.

Was there some hue and cry for a Frankenstein movie from the perspective of Igor?

Not that I am aware of, at any rate.  In fact, I can recall three movies based on Frankenstein off the top of my head.  The first is I, Frankenstein, which tanked, though to be fair that may have more to do with the fact that that movie was less a story about Frankenstein or his monster than it was a rewarmed Underworld.  The second was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, directed by Kenneth Branagh.  It did pretty bad domestically, but more than made up for it with overseas grosses.

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, so I’ve been trying to recall why Doctor Frankenstein (Branagh) is running around shirtless so often.

And…I’ve got nothing.

And the third is Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.  Of the three it was by far the most successful, and the reason I suspect why is because on one hand it remained faithful to the material, yet treated it in a way that it hadn’t been before (which isn’t to say that there weren’t comedies based on Frankenstein prior, though I am not sure any were done as faithfully).

Which goes back to the object of my fascination.  Why would anyone green light a treatment of the Frankenstein story as apparently a buddy adventure/comedy?  Trying to create demand for something is infinitely harder than satisfying an existing need, and as far as I can see there’s no desire for a Frankenstein movie from the perspective of Doctor Frankenstein, never mind Igor.

Now, if they manage to treat the property in a novel manner it’s an entirely different matter.

Unfortunately Victor Frankenstein probably isn’t it.

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