Doug Jones spells out how good Guillermo Del Toro's 'Frankenstein' was going to be

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2 min read
(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Karloff, Boris - Actor, Great Britain - *23.11.1887-02.02.1969+ Scene from the movie 'Frankenstein' Directed by: James Whale USA 1931 Film Production: Universal Pictures Vintage property of ullstein bild (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Boris Karloff as the monster (Credit: Ullstein Bild via Getty Images)

We'll likely never get to see visionary director Guillermo Del Toro's take on Mary Shelley's gothic classic Frankenstein.

But at one time, Del Toro was indeed working up a Frankenstein movie, and got pretty far down the line, with actor Doug Jones in line for the role of Frankenstein's monster.

Jones, a frequent collaborator with Del Toro in movies like Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy and The Shape of Water, has revealed what the director had planned, and how the monster had been mocked up using drawings from Swamp Thing icon Bernie Wrightson.

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“He was more emaciated, little skinnier, little more pathetic looking,” Jones told Collider. “And yet, [he] had an unnatural physical prowess, an unnatural athletic-ness to him. He was sewn together with spare parts of a couple different bodies. Very bony face, long, stringy, drawn hair.”

Writer and director Guillermo del Toro, left, and actor Doug Jones pose on the press line at the premiere of the feature film "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Writer and director Guillermo del Toro and Doug Jones (Credit: AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)

Jones added that he went to see mock-ups of the creature, which used a bust of his head and shoulders.

“It was like, honestly, my eyes welled up,” Jones went on. “It was so hauntingly beautiful, and it did pay reverence to Bernie Wrightson’s artwork and gave you a different-looking Frankenstein’s monster than what you’re used to.”

As for why the movie never got made, Jones suspects that it may all have been related to Universal's Dark Universe being torpedoed.

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When Tom Cruise's The Mummy tanked at the box office, it took with it all of the planned Dark Universe movies with it.

“My guess would be, and again, I have no authority to say this, but my guess would be Guillermo probably wanted to make a standalone movie that was just his piece of art, that would be an homage to the book and an homage to the original film,” Jones added.

At the time of the Dark Universe's announcement, however, Javier Bardem was being lined up to play the monster, though a director was yet to be attached to the project.

Universal's Dark Universe (Credit: Universal)
Universal's Dark Universe (Credit: Universal)

Since the failure of The Mummy – said to have cost Universal nearly $100 million – there has been a rethink of the monster franchise, with Blumhouse coming in and making a low-budget hit of The Invisible Man earlier this year.

Several new movies, with less ambitious budgets, are now in the pipeline, with Saw and Insidious director James Wan working on a Frankenstein film.

Also on the slate is Renfield from director Dexter Fletcher, centring on Dracula's deranged henchman, The Invisible Woman from Elizabeth Banks and a

Watch: The Invisible Man trailer