Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein, will be released through Lionsgate this Friday, January 24, 2014. In the film, The 200-year-old Adam is played by Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Nurse Betty) who went through a big physical transformation (not to mention 3 months of fight training) to take on the role.
Yvonne Strahovski, Bill Nighy and Miranda Otto also star.”200 years after his shocking creation, Dr. Frankenstein’s creature, Adam, still walks the earth. But when he finds himself in the middle of a war over the fate of humanity, Adam discovers he holds the key that could destroy humankind.”
This project had been around for a while, at what point did you get involved?
Just right at the end. I read Stuart’s script and liked it and they were ready to go so I went with it. It did have some prior incarnations, as all movies do. But I got onto it and I started training right away, 3 months of stick training and getting into shape and then we went into production.
I never ask the ‘training’ question but it does almost look like you have a different body-type in this film.
It’s just training and eating. I wish I had known then what I know now about that sort of stuff. Mostly it’s not about how much weight you push, it’s about what you put in your mouth. If you don’t put it in your mouth you don’t have to burn it off. It’s just about discipline. The muscles will come. I didn’t know that earlier on in my life, I wish I had.
With the earlier material was there ever an inclination to look back at what had been done with the graphic novel or did you want to form your own take on it?
Well, Stuart has taken us into such a different universe there’s really no precedent. We changed the look of him and everything for me was from Mary Shelley’s idea of the anger about his father rejecting him and casting him out. Being ostracized from society and not knowing why, or why he was created. That’s where all the gold was. Then the stick fighting and the gargoyles and the demons.
Can you talk about that ostracization?
It’s all about his serious trust issues. He’s a beaten dog, he’s never been shown any kindness and he doesn’t trust humans or anybody. The film is about how he warms up to the people he’s around and how he begins to trust them and what makes sense to him and what feels right to him. That’s the way I sort of went about that. Otherwise, he’s a survivalist. He’s out there doing whatever he can to survive. And now he’s confronted by these two very powerful forces and he has to make a decision. Another thing about this movie for me is trusting your instincts, trusting the voice inside you that tells you what to do. That’s always what I’ve tried to do in my own life.
What was the hardest sequence for you to shoot?
Just fighting. The sticks. That big scene was so dangerous and tough. It was at night for 3 days and all that sort of stuff. We had choreographed it for weeks and weeks and weeks, so to get it right was very satisfying.
This kind of feels like an origin story and at the end it sort of sets itself up for a sequel. Have you talked about where that might go?
Yeah, there’s been talk. It obviously depends on the success of the first one but there’s definitely room to grow. I think that Stuart has laid the groundwork and it could go in so many different directions. He’s such a great writer and has such a great imagination that it would be interesting to see the next chapter.