Guillermo del Toro Wants Benedict Cumberbatch For His Frankenstein Adaptation

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-07-08 17:09:48discussion comments
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Director Guillermo del Toro seems to be very excited by the prospect of working with Benedict Cumberbatch. As we reported back in April, the two men are set to collaborate on the gothic haunted house movie Crimson Peak, which will be the filmmaker's next project, but apparently that just isn't enough for del Toro. Not only does he want Cumberbatch for his ghost story, he wants him to play the lead in his version of Frankenstein.

With Pacific Rim due out in theaters this week del Toro has been doing press rounds like a madman, and in an interview with The Daily Telegraph (via The Playlist) he revealed that he wants the Sherlock star for his long-in-development Mary Shelley adaptation. While the paper doesn't have a direct quote from the director, the story reportedly says "he is hoping to direct Cumberbatch again in a new film version of Frankenstein."

The article doesn't seem to specify which role del Toro would have Cumberbatch play - either the monster or Victor Frankenstein -though the director has previously said that he would like to have his longtime collaborator Doug Jones play the scientist's creation. Truthfully, the British star is covered either way as he actually has terrific experience in both parts. Last year director Danny Boyle produced his own version of Frankenstein for the stage and had stars Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller sharing the roles on opposite nights. You can see the former as the monster above and as the man below.

Benedict Cumberbatch Frankenstein

That's not all that the Telegraph got out of del Toro either, as the director also offered up details about his in-the-works big screen version of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. He's been developing the project for just as long as he has been talking about Frankenstein, but now it's apparently moving forward with an idea from one of the best screenwriters in Hollywood: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind scribe Charlie Kaufman. Said del Toro about the Oscar winner's work on the story,
"Charlie [Kaufman] and I talked for about an hour-and-a-half and came up with a perfect way of doing the book. I love the idea of the Trafalmadorians [the aliens of 'Slaughterhouse-Five'] -- to be 'unstuck in time,' where everything is happening at the same time. And that's what I want to do. It's just a catch-22. The studio will make it when it''s my next movie, but how can I commit to it being my next movie until there's a screenplay? Charlie Kaufman is a very expensive writer!"

It took five years between Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Pacific Rim to finally get del Toro back into the director's chair, but we won't have to wait that long for his next movie. Crimson Peak, which stars Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Charlie Hunnam in addition to Cumberbatch, is looking to start production at the start of next year, putting it on target for either a late 2014 or 2015 release date.
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