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I, FRANKENSTEIN: Aaron Eckhart to Star as Adam Frankenstein

Coming out ahead of the several other Frankenstein-themed projects in development right now, Lakeshore Entertainment, Hopscotch Features and Lionsgate has scored themselves a star to headline their project, I, Frankenstein. Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Battle Los Angeles) has been cast to play Adam Frankenstein in this film adaptation of a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, co-creator of the Underworld franchise.

Check out the official press release below:

Aaron Eckhart to Star in Lakeshore, Hopscotch, Lionsgate Production of I, FRANKENSTEIN

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 7, 2011 – Aaron Eckhart will play ADAM FRANKENSTEIN in the Lakeshore Entertainment, Hopscotch Features and Lionsgate production of I, FRANKENSTEIN, commencing in Australia in January.  The film was written and is to be directed by Stuart Beattie (director of Australia’s breakout hit TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN, and writer of such films as PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, G.I. JOE, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT and COLLATERAL), and is based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, co-creator of the UNDERWORLD franchise.  Lionsgate will distribute the film in the United States, Lakeshore will handle international sales and E1/Hopscotch will distribute in Australia.  U.S. release is slated for February 22, 2013.

Aaron Eckhart recently finished shooting the lead role as an ex-CIA agent in THE EXPATRIATE, and stars alongside Johnny Depp in the upcoming THE RUM DIARY.  He is repped by CAA.

I, FRANKENSTEIN is a modern-day epic:  Frankenstein’s creature, ADAM, has survived to 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 two immortal clans.  As writer/director, Stuart Beattie said, “Mary Shelly’s story is about the creation of the first human being.  This is the story about that being becoming human.”

“We are thrilled to again be collaborating with Lakeshore Entertainment, and Aaron Eckhart, one of today’s most versatile and talented actors.  This story is all about what it means to be human, and there could be no more achingly human performance than the one Aaron gave in our own RABBIT HOLE.  We are so excited to see what he will bring to this role,” said Lionsgate’s co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake of the production.  “This is a wonderfully imaginative script and we are looking forward to seeing it brought to life by a talented filmmaker, and to bringing this story to our loyal genre fans.”

“We’ve tremendously enjoyed making our UNDERWORLD franchise films and we are looking forward to working with Stuart and our partners at Hopscotch and Lionsgate to create a new world for a legendary character,” said Lakeshore’s Tom Rosenberg, adding “We know that Aaron, with his proven range, depth and intelligence, is going to make an iconic ADAM.”

Troy Lum of Hopscotch said, “We have wanted to work with Stuart on a big film in Australia and when we had the opportunity earlier this year to expand our relationship with Lakeshore on the creation of a potential franchise, it all came together.”

Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Andrew Mason (who produced Beattie’s TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN) and Richard Wright of Lakeshore are producing the film, with Hopscotch’s Troy Lum and Kevin Grevioux as executive producers.

Michael Paseornek, Lionsgate’s President of Motion Picture Development and Production will be shepherding the project at the studio.  The deal was negotiated on behalf of Lionsgate by Wendy Jaffe, EVP Business & Legal Affairs for Acquisitions, and by Rob McEntegart, Senior EVP of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group. Beattie is represented by CAA.

About Lionsgate 

Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms.  The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as “Mad Men”, “Weeds” and “Nurse Jackie” along with  the comedy “Blue Mountain State, ” the upcoming drama “Boss” and the syndication successes “Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne”, its spinoff “Meet The Browns,” the upcoming “For Better or Worse,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Are We There Yet?”.

Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY’S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company’s home entertainment business has grown to more than 8% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

[The Shakedown]

Reading the summary of what this film is about Adam Frankenstein being “caught in an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans” sounds awfully familiar considering the source material is from the co-creator of Underworld, but I am optimistic that this will be a departure from the vampire/werewolf rivalry that the Underworld franchise centers on.

What do you think? Where are they taking Frankenstein’s creation?

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