Lanthimos film adaptation of macabre Alasdair Gray Gothic novel in the works

Elizabeth Meade welcomes the arrival of new, alternative Frankenstein film adaptations

Elizabeth Meade
17th February 2021
Image: IMDb
Director Yorgos Lanthimos is planning a film adaptation of Poor Things (1992), a Gothic novel by Alasdair Gray that is clearly inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and its subsequent adaptations. Emma Stone has already been cast as the lead character, Bella Baxter.

Stone's character has been described as a "female Frankenstein," who, like Frankenstein's monster, is resurrected from the dead by her husband, only her brain is replaced by that of her unborn child after she drowns herself. The project is intended to begin filming in September 2021.

[T]he late Alasdair Gray was an acclaimed Scottish author known for his strong political message

Poor Things was published in 1992 and won both the Whitbread Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize the same year, making it perfect to adapt into a film. Although it's been around for a while and is not as famous as older classics or large modern franchises, enough people will have heard of the novel for a film adaptation to garner interest.

The late Alasdair Gray in 1994
Image: Wikimedia

Additionally, the first wave of interest will have died down enough to make a new take on the story welcome among fans, and the unfamiliar title will bring in audiences looking for something new. As the late Alasdair Gray was an acclaimed Scottish author known for his strong political message whose work has been compared to that of Orwell and Kafka, this film is also likely to gain attention among the literary crowd. Poor Things will be the first work of Gray's to be adapted into a film, although it should be noted that several of his other works have been adapted to the stage.

While some have implied that the film will merely be a Frankenstein retelling, that is not the case--although Poor Things involves resurrection, its political undertones are a more central focus and it revolves around a husband and wife. Frankenstein has already been adapted many times, with some adaptations closer to the book than others, and referenced many more times in films such as "Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein" (1999) and "Frankenweenie" (2012).

Image: IMDb

With the most recent adaptation, "Depraved," having come out in 2019 (and two more having come out as recently as 2015), the book doesn't really need a new adaptation at this point. If anybody out there is thinking of making yet another adaptation of Frankenstein at this juncture, I would suggest that they look to other works with similar themes to bring lesser-known (and less popularly-adapted) works of classic science fiction and horror to the big screen.

Newer horror books such as House of Leaves (2000) by Mark Z. Danielewski or the works of Jonathan Maberry also have a large potential audience due to their existing legions of fans. Fortunately, though, if the film adaptation of Poor Things is faithful to the novel, it should be different enough from the classic horror that likely inspired the tale to come across as a fresh and original film.

(Visited 69 times, 1 visits today)
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Meade
(she/her) Head of Current Affairs (News, Campus Comment, Comment, Science). Chemistry major. Avid reader. Chaos theorist. Amateur batrachologist and historian. Rock fan. Likes cybersecurity and cooking. Wrote the first article for Puzzles. Probably the first Courier writer to have work featured in one of Justin Whang's videos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ReLated Articles
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap