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Shawn Levy Close To Helming ‘Frankenstein’; Mike Fleiss Jumping Into Narrative Filmmaking With Horror Movie

Written by on August 24, 2011 

Update: Variety reports that Shawn Levy has officially signed on to direct the film.

Not many directors have earned as much scorn for their work over the past decade as Shawn Levy. From the Night at the Museum movies to Cheaper by the Dozen (and several others among those), I can’t find anybody who would legitimately says that they like his work — and the fact that he makes so much money isn’t helping him out. Deadline now says that the director is pretty close to attaching himself to Fox’s Frankenstein. One of the big reasons for this move is the delay in production on The Fantastic Voyage, and this taking up his time for the coming winter and spring makes the offer all the more appealing.

The script was written by Max (son of John) Landis, with Mary Shelley‘s classic story being told from the perspective of the Igor character. This is actually one of seven adaptations that are in development, due to the novel being in the public domain; this also accounts for why we’re seeing multiple Snow White movies over the next few years. An offer was apparently put out to Ron Howard at one point, but if that did happen, it would appear that he passed.

I can’t say that Levy excites me all that much as a director, frankly, but he showed in Date Night that there’s something there — maybe not a whole lot, but something. A director-for-hire — something he could reasonably be accused of making a career from — is something that I detest entirely on a creative level, but his next movie, Real Steel, looks okay enough for me to not completely disregard him. I’ll just have to know more about the script to make a strong judgement.

For a director who’s certainly had less experience in narrative filmmaking Deadline is also reporting that God Bless Ozzy Osbourne director Mike Fleiss — someone who’s spent most of his career writing and producing — will get behind the camera for a low-budget horror movie. Produced by Paranormal Activity and InsidiousSteven Schneider, we don’t know anything else about it at the moment, except that it’ll be “a big idea with a low price tag,” with production beginning before the end of this year.

Planned as a follow-up to that film is a biopic of Richard O’Barry, a dolphin activist who was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. He’s a guy who had other experiences that could be seen as similar, including training dolphins for the TV show Flipper. This is something that (I assume) won’t be a horror feature, but him trying different things this early leaves me with a sense of optimism. Just as Seth Gordon has been navigating the waters of studio filmmaking, he might shift his focus over to this area; if he can prove himself, then he deserves to succeed.

Is Levy someone you want to direct this version of Frankenstein? Have you seen any of Fleiss’ documentaries? Did you like them?

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