Obviously there's no quota on Frankenstein films. Even with I, Frankenstein (pictured)– the Hollywood comic book adaptation shot at Melbourne's Docklands Studios by director Stuart Beattie (Tomorrow, When the War Begins) with Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight Rises) as the legendary creature brought to life from assembled bodies of the dead – not released until January of next year, another spin on Mary Shelley's two centuries old tale of a scientist going too far is in the works. In Frankenstein (the name is essential to the marketing), director British Paul McGuigan (Push) has cast James McAvoy (Trance) as Victor von Frankenstein, with the actor formerly known as Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, to play Igor, his laboratory assistant.
It's unknown whether McGuigan will use a hulking actor or digital effects for his version of Dr. Frankenstein's creation, but his take on the story appears to be more traditional than Beattie's, which posits Eckhart's character as an intelligent warrior in a city full of literary monsters caught between two mythical and immortal clans, whose leaders are played by the likes of Bill Nighy (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Miranda Otto (The Thin Red Line) and Yvonne Strahovski (Killer Elite). Somewhere Kenneth Branagh, who dinted his career badly with his Frankenstein in 1994, is chuckling to himself.
Bourgoin tees up two new roles
French actress Louise Bourgoin (A Girl From Monaco, A Happy Event) has joined the cast of Mojave, a thriller from screenwriter (The Departed) turned filmmaker (London Boulevard) William Monahan. Bourgoin joins Oscar Isaac (The Bourne Legacy) and Garrett Hedlund (On the Road) in the story of an artist fleeing society who ends up in the desert confronted by a brilliant sociopath. Bourgoin also stars alongside Isabelle Huppert (Tip Top) in Guillaume Nicloux's The Nun, a remake of a 1966 Jacques Rivette film about an 18th century girl forced to take her vows and enter a monastery.
Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator) has exited the Freddie Mercury biopic, reportedly over disagreements with the late Queen frontman's bandmates about how Mercury, who lived a productive but hedonistic life, should be portrayed on the screen; Having already worked together on Bridesmaids and now The Heat, director Paul Feig and star Melissa McCarthy are looking at Susan Cooper, an action comedy about an ageing spy; Jet Li (Hero), who turned 50 in April, can next be seen in the Hong Kong action comedy Badges of Fury, where he plays a kung fu master helping his bumbling police detective friend with a murder investigation.
Hillcoat to helm heist thriller
Expatriate Australian director John Hillcoat, whose last film was 2012's moonshine drama Lawless, is now preparing the contemporary crime thriller Triple Nine, which is a Los Angeles-set tale of a heist planned by a group of thieves who intend to kill a young police officer to distract his colleagues. Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) will play the young lawman, and Hillcoat is talking to Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) to play the character's uncle, a fellow policeman, with Cate Blanchett (The Good German) considering the role of the criminal matriarch planning the robbery.