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John Landis is a horror icon. One of his most memorable contributions to the genre was of course 1981’s horror comedy classic An American Werewolf in London. Now his son Max Landis is taking his own bite out of the Universal monsters set by writing a Frankenstein movie for 20th Century Fox. Shaun Levy (Reel Steel, Night at the Museum) is set to direct. Recently, Shock Till You Drop caught up with Max at the red carpet premiere of Chillerama in L.A. to ask him about the project. He had these enthusiastic words to say…
Frankenstein fans will appreciate the extensive amount of research Landis has done on the character. His remarks about watching all the Universal and Hammer Studios incarnations of the character as well as reading the original Mary Shelley novel demonstrates a sincere passion… for winning an argument with a friend. In all seriousness, it is encouraging that he’s done his homework no matter what the initial motivation.
He makes mention of initially having the same reservations about Shaun Levy directing as many Frankenstein fans, including myself, had. Levy has never directed a horror film and his usual fare is far fluffier than anything that should find its way into a new Frankenstein film. But Landis talks about being very taken by Levy’s vision for the film and how it won him over. Not sure I’m convinced, but it’s good to know that the director and the writer are on the same page.
What’s concerning is Landis’ description of Dr. Frankenstein as a Zuckerbergian genius, a reference to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Apt or facile, this comparison suggests that Landis’ script, of which he is incredibly proud apparently, uses many contemporary exemplars for the construction of its characters. What we don’t need is desperately modernized version of the story replete with references to social networking and topical headlines. It could just be an offhanded remark with no real subtext, but it’s hard to muster as much “f*&#ing faith” in Landis’ script as he seems to have.