The American actor will star in the latest incarnation of the Mary Shelley story.
11 Oct 2011 - 10:43 AM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2014 - 4:09 PM

Aaron Eckhart will be playing the legendary lead character when I, Frankenstein goes into production in January in Australia.

The actor has already shown considerable range as callous businessman Chad in In the Company of Men (1997), cigarette salesman Nick Naylor in Thank You For Smoking (2005), Harvey Dent/Two-Face in The Dark Knight (2008) and grieving husband Howie in Rabbit Hole (2010).

I, Frankenstein is to be directed by Stuart Beattie, whose directorial debut Tomorrow, When The War Began, was the highest grossing home-grown film released in Australia last year.

“Mary's Shelley's story is about the creation of the first human being,” said Beattie. “This is the story about that being becoming human.”

The novel was first published anonymously in London in 1818 when Shelley was 21 years of age. It has inspired many film, television and theatre producers in the years since.

While he has limited experience as a director, the LA-based Australian has had a big hand in the writing of such big hitters as GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra (2009), Australia (2008), 30 Days of Night (2007), Collateral (2003) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).

It won't be the first time Eckhart has worked with an Australian director: No Reservations (2007), in which he played the man who captivates workaholic chef, was directed by Scott Hicks. And he starred alongside Aussies Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight and Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole.

I, Frankenstein is based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, and was billed as a “modern-day epic” by Australian distributor Hopscotch when it confirmed that the film was going ahead.

Eckhart plays Frankenstein's creature, Adam, who has survived into the present day due to a genetic quirk in his creation. Making his way to a dark, gothic metropolis, he finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries-old war between immortal clans.

I, Frankenstein will be ushered into US cinemas by Lionsgate Films, which worked with Grevioux on the creation of his Underworld franchise. Hopscotch announced it had agreed to distribute Lakeshore's films in Australia back I June.

The Australian producer on the project is Andrew Mason, who was one of the producers on Tomorrow, When The War Began.

Upcoming Eckhart projects that have been filmed but have not yet found their way into cinemas include The Rum Diary, a 1950s story in which he plays opposite Johnny Depp, and The Expatriate, in which he stars as an ex-CIA agent on the run.