It was announced today that Death Ray Films, director Patrick Tatopoulos (Rise of the Lycans) and Underworld Co-creator Kevin Grevioux have joined forces to bring the upcoming Darkstorm Comics title I, Frankenstein to the big screen. According to the release I, Frankenstein 'brings back many beloved classic monsters including Frankenstein’s Monster, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Invisible Man, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde plus many more, in a re-imagined contemporary setting'. Uh, hold on a second while I pick my jaw up off of the floor. Am I the only one who thinks this sounds fracking awesome? So excited was I, when offered the chance to talk to Kevin Grevioux I humbly accepted. Hit the jump for our chat with Kevin and two pages of EXCLUSIVE to FEARnet concept art from the upcoming I, Frankenstein comic!
How are you going to go about bringing back the classic monsters?
In terms of inspiration, like with Underworld, I've always loved monsters and I try to find a way to retell the classic creatures of lore and literature and spin them on their ear. With Underworld, bringing the two together as a surrealistic interracial relationship amidst the backdrop of a century spanning race war, so I thought that was interesting. I thought bringing in the science was also another interesting aspect so that made it different from anything else. I was inspired by movies like House of Frankenstein where you had Frankenstein, the Wolfman and Dracula all in one [film].
What sparked interest in me as a kid was man, why don't they do more of these crossovers so to speak? Like why don't they have Frankenstein vs. The Mummy? Y'know, I've always wanted to see that. So I found a way to put Frankenstein in a modern day setting and make him more of a cool action hero. In a very film noir world. And have the whole city occupied by monsters unbeknownst to the public.
So the monsters sort of work underground?
Yeah. They perform different functions but no one knows that they exist. In this world there are vampires, werewolves, ghosts, goblins, things of that nature. And it's all about their relationships and trying to find a way for them to work.
Any concerns with the look of the monsters? Are you changing them up?
The only rights issue is with the bolts on Frankenstein's neck. That's the only thing Universal lays claim to. Anything else is fair game because it's in public domain. If you notice in comic books [like] Marvel and DC, they all have their versions of Frankenstein. You could probably make the bolts look different but the bolts were there because they were receptacles for electricity coming into Frankenstein’s body. But in the original novel, there was no electricity it was done by chemical, so that's more of the approach we're taking with respect to his origins. [It's] more literary not anything that has to do with electricity at all.
How about the other creatures?
I have a bevy of designs. You'll be able to see where I'm going with the comic book and of course the film. Patrick is going to design all of the creatures.
What time frame are you looking at for comic to film?
Comic book should be released at the end of the year, but we're in really early stages for the film.
Are you looking to keep a similar vibe between the comics and film?
Film noir, like The Crow and Dark City, very cool.
CGI vs. practical special effects, do you have a preference?
Given what Patrick has done and the nature of these movies it will probably be a combination of both. We love creatures, animatronics and things like that. So I can definitely see a lot of animatronics work with some of the top guys in the industry.
If you had to choose: comics or film?
A lot of people would say that films are higher than comic books in the realm of prestige, the amount of money that can be made but I like comic books the most because I think they're pure and you're able to get your vision out there without having to worry about budgetary constraints. And you can control the art a lot more. Film is a more collaborative process [but] it's still fun, it's just that comic books are more pure to me. At least in the beginning stages. And then when they go to film, they change. But as long as you are working with good people your experience can be great, like with Patrick. Working with him and Len (Wiseman) on the Underworld series that's been really fun. They're cats that get excited when you talk about this stuff and I mean like little kids! And that's what I really like.
Speaking of Underworld, what does the future hold?
Talking about a fourth film, but I don't know when that's going to happen.
If you had to come up with a tagline for the comic/film I, Frankenstein, what would you say?
Frankenstein will be portrayed as the ultimate action hero
What's your biggest fear?
Going to hell!
Wow, that's a good one. Most people say spiders!
(Laughs) Now if you're talking about stuff like that, Y'know dude I do not like clowns.
I don't think anyone does!
For whatever reason, I just don't trust them.