New spin off film ‘Victor Frankenstein’ has been newly released as a modern adaption of Mary Shelley’s classic novel ‘Frankenstein’. It succeeds as a vibrant rendition of the nearly 200 year old tale and is made current with the alternative perspective of Frankenstein’s assistant Igor. The film stars leading British actors James McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein, and Daniel Radcliffe as his assistant Igor. This fresh take on what may be considered globally as a literature masterpiece, has been reinvented by writer Max Landis, son of director legend John Landis; and directed by Paul McGuigan, whose background includes ‘Sherlock’.
Amongst a current wave of novel to film adaptations, Victor Frankenstein may stand out as one of the many revivals of classic novels which still resonate a message into a contemporary setting. Adapting the novel to a CGI generation also means it may reach wider audiences of all ages, readers and non-readers alike. This may ensure the Gothic classic takes on a new life form to a new audience. The films humorous edge demonstrated by Radcliffe and McAvoy may also have the potential to spark interest in young individuals to visit or revisit the novel itself.
Likewise, the re-emergence of the novel in a contemporary film form also appears as an opportunity to reintroduce many of the novels moral questions to a new generation. Many of the 17th century debates surround the ethical dilemmas of progressive science and technology, and also have a dialogue that similarly exists today. This evidences the classic quality of the novel’s historical message and further resonates the value of classic literature to a new generation of audiences.
Following Eric Pickersgill’s infamous photography project this year in his attempt to illustrate society’s co-dependence on mobile technology, it has been one of many art forms which may have contributed to a thought-provoking discussion on technological advancement much like those proposed in the classic novel of 1818. Pickersgill’s photography project involved inviting the subject’s to pose with their mobile devises, whilst going on to emit them from the photograph. This saw a series of images that reflected users’ diverted attention from the people around them, fixated onto empty space. Therefore, these questions proposed by Mary Shelly may still have a powerful place for today’s audiences, inspiring individuals to assess their own relationship with technological advancement, as well as its pivotal position within today’s society. Likewise, individuals may find themselves confronting new questions which are unconsidered regarding the social responsibility of technology due to the reintroduction of this story.
Although classic literature may be implemented by the school curriculum worldwide, films may appear as a stronger form of diverting young adults to literature classics. Following statistics from the The National Education Association, the educational testing services reported students who do more reading at home are improved readers and have higher math scores. Therefore, there may be a correlation between reading and its overall contribution to educational progression in widening vocabulary, improving critical thinking and promoting memory improvement. MPs from across Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland including Ed Vaizey, Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, joined the Houses of Parliament this year to pledge to encourage children to read over the summer, as part of a world record attempt for a Summer Reading Challenge. A film such as Victor Frankenstein may further support programs like this by inciting new audiences to the film, as well as to the classic novel, whilst also encouraging individuals to look into other film adaptations of novels as ways to engage in literary classics.
How might the Victor Frankenstein trailer incite new audiences to the Gothic classic?