Victor Frankenstein
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul McGuigan
Written byMax Landis
Based onFrankenstein
1818 novel
by Mary Shelley
Produced byJohn Davis
CinematographyFabian Wagner
Edited byAndrew Hulme
Charlie Phillips
Music byCraig Armstrong
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • November 11, 2015 (2015-11-11) (Los Angeles)
  • November 25, 2015 (2015-11-25) (United States)
Running time
110 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million[3]
Box office$34.2 million[4]

Victor Frankenstein is a 2015 American science fantasy horror film based on contemporary adaptations of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. It is directed by Paul McGuigan and written by Max Landis, and stars Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, and Charles Dance. The film was released by 20th Century Fox on November 25, 2015.

Told from Igor's perspective, it shows the troubled young assistant's dark origins and his redemptive friendship with the young medical student, Victor Frankenstein. Through Igor's eyes, the audience witnesses the emergence of Frankenstein as the man from the legend we know today. Eventually, their experiments get them into trouble with the authorities, and Dr. Frankenstein and Igor become fugitives as they complete their goals to use science as a way to create life from death.[5] The film received generally negative reviews and became a box office bomb, grossing $34.2 million against a budget of $40 million.


In 1860s London, ambitious medical student Victor Frankenstein attends a circus performance, where he helps save an injured aerialist, Lorelei, with the aid of a hunchback who is enslaved by the circus' ringleader and harbors feelings for the girl. Impressed by the hunchback's knowledge of human anatomy, acquired from stolen books, Victor rescues him, drains the cyst on his back that causes his physical abnormality, and gives him a harness to improve his posture – he then names him "Igor Straussman" after his roommate who is not often at home. The two become partners in Victor's ongoing experiments to resurrect life through artificial means, incurring the wrath of religious police inspector Roderick Turpin, who views their experiments as blasphemy.

Victor procures parts from dead animals and makes Igor restore the organs, which Victor secretly uses to create a monstrous chimpanzee-like creature nicknamed "Gordon".

Igor reunites with Lorelei, now masquerading as the mistress of a closeted gay baron, upsetting Victor, who views Lorelei as a distraction. Igor invites Lorelei to a demonstration of their experiment, which goes awry when Gordon escapes and wreaks havoc through the university. He is eventually killed by Victor and Igor. Lorelei is horrified by Victor's experiments and urges Igor to stop him from pursuing the matter further. Igor is reluctant to do so upon learning that Victor is driven by the need to atone for his indirect role in the death of his older brother, Henry, for which Victor's domineering father blames Victor.

Victor is expelled from college for his unorthodox methods but attracts the attention of his wealthy classmate Finnegan, who wants him to create an artificial humanoid creature. Victor and Igor outline a behemoth named "Prometheus". However, Igor's deepening relationship with Lorelei soon causes a rift between them.

The police raid Victor's laboratory, hell-bent on destroying his inventions. During the raid Igor stumbles onto the corpse of the real Igor Straussman, dead from an overdose, and the source of the eyes Victor had used in his experiments. When he attacks Victor, Turpin loses a hand and is blinded in one eye. Victor and Igor escape in a carriage sent by Finnegan and are taken to his family's estate. Turpin is put on medical leave from Scotland Yard for having invaded Victor's home without a warrant.

Finnegan provides the scientists with the funds to build Prometheus and offers them laboratory facilities at his family's estate in Scotland. Igor is suspicious of Finnegan and outraged with Victor for his treatment of Straussman. After a falling out, Victor departs for Scotland alone. Finnegan kidnaps Igor and plans to kill Victor once Prometheus is complete, to weaponize his creation. Igor is then thrown into the Thames to drown but manages to escape and reunites with Lorelei, who nurses him back to health.

To rescue Victor, Igor and Lorelei embark to Finnegan's estate. Igor finds Victor on the verge of using lightning to animate Prometheus. Victor ignores his pleas and activates the machine. A power surge overloads the machinery, killing Finnegan and several of his employees. During the ensuing chaos, an enraged Turpin arrives. Prometheus awakens. Victor is initially ecstatic that the experiment has worked, thinking Prometheus to be his resurrected brother Henry. Victor quickly realizes that the experiment has failed: Prometheus has no consciousness and cannot talk. Turpin opens fire on Prometheus, who goes into a rage, kills him and nearly murders Victor. Returning to his senses, Victor joins forces with Igor to kill Prometheus by stabbing its two hearts.

The next morning, Igor reunites with Lorelei, who hands him a letter written to him by Victor. In it, Victor apologizes for all the suffering he caused and allows Igor to live his life with Lorelei. Victor informs Igor to be ready for when Victor may one day ask for his help, recognizing that Igor was his "greatest creation". Victor retreats to the Scottish countryside in search of new discoveries.



The project was first announced by 20th Century Fox in 2011 with Max Landis set to write the script.[12] Paul McGuigan was announced as the director in September 2012.[13] Daniel Radcliffe also began talks to join the film that month, and officially joined the cast as Igor in March 2013.[14] In July 2013, James McAvoy joined the cast to play Victor Frankenstein.[6] Jessica Brown Findlay joined the cast in September.[7]

In October 2013, the film's release date was delayed from October 17, 2014 to January 16, 2015.[15] In March 2014, the film was pushed back again to October 2, 2015.[16] Filming mostly took place in the United Kingdom, with stage filming at Longcross and Twickenham Film Studios and location shooting at Chatham Historic Dockyard.[17] Principal photography began on November 25, 2013, and ended on March 20, 2014.[18][19] In June 2015, the film's release date was pushed back from October 2, 2015, to November 25, 2015, which was first assigned to The Peanuts Movie and The Martian.[20]


James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con to promote the film.

The first trailer for the film was released by 20th Century Fox on August 18, 2015.[21]


Box office

Victor Frankenstein grossed $5.8 million in North America and $28.5 million in other territories for a total of $34.2 million, against a budget of $40 million.[4]

In North America, Victor Frankenstein opened on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 alongside Creed and The Good Dinosaur, as well as the wide releases of Brooklyn, Spotlight and Trumbo. The film was originally projected to gross $12 million from 2,797 theaters in its first five days, including $6–8 million in its opening weekend.[22] However, after grossing $175,000 from its Tuesday night screenings and $620,000 on its opening day, five-day projections were lowered to $3–4 million. The film ended up grossing $2.4 million in its opening weekend and $3.4 million over its first five days, breaking the record set by Won't Back Down for the lowest opening gross in over 2,500 theaters until Friend Request in 2017.[23]

Critical response

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2015)

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 26%, based on 143 reviews with an average rating of 4.68/10. The site's consensus reads, "A re-imagining without the imagining, Victor Frankenstein plays at providing a fresh perspective on an oft-told tale, but ultimately offers little of interest that viewers haven't already seen in superior Frankenstein films."[24] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 36 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[25] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.[23]

Empire rated the film 4 out of 5 stars, writing, "Aiming to do for Victor Frankenstein what Guy Ritchie did for Sherlock Holmes, set in the past but with a playful, postmodern sensibility that zaps new life into Shelley’s 200 year-old Gothic masterpiece."[26] Total Film gave the film an average 3 out of 5. "Each murky frame is bursting with grime and clutter... because everything is too busy, too loud, too determined to do what Guy Ritchie and Mark Gatiss have done for Sherlock Holmes. The result is far from monstrous but it's hardly divine, either."[27]

In response to the low score on Rotten Tomatoes, writer Max Landis wrote that the site "breaks down entire reviews into just the word 'yes' or 'no', making criticism binary in a destructive, arbitrary way".[28]

See also


  1. ^ "Victor Frankenstein (2015)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. November 3, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Pamela McClintock (November 23, 2015). "Box-Office Thanksgiving Preview: 'Good Dinosaur' Takes On 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Victor Frankenstein (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Michelle, Kara. "Victor Frankenstein: A "rip-roaring, fun adventure movie version" of Mary Shelley's Gothic horror novel, says star who portrays the hunchback lab assistant Igor". Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Fleming, Mike. "James McAvoy Tapped By Fox To Play Victor Von Frankenstein". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "'Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay Joins Fox's 'Frankenstein'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  8. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (November 28, 2013). "Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe and Filth star James McAvoy will be joined by Sherlock's Andrew Scott in the new film adaptation of Frankenstein". Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  9. ^ Collinson, Gary (June 18, 2014). "First synopsis for Frankenstein starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe". Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  10. ^ "Callum Turner". Curtis Brown. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  11. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (April 25, 2015). "First look at James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe in Victor Frankenstein". Radio Times.
  12. ^ "Frankenstein Coming To Life for Fox". The Hollywood Reporter. June 22, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (September 5, 2012). "'Sherlock' Director Boards Fox's 'Frankenstein'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  14. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (February 28, 2013). "Daniel Radcliffe Is Putting It Together For Fox's 'Frankenstein'". Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  15. ^ "David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Gets Fall 2014 Release". The Hollywood Reporter. October 15, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  16. ^ "Fox Announces Release Dates for THE FANTASTIC FOUR 2, WOLVERINE, Untitled Marvel Film, and More". Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  17. ^ Pippa Considine (November 29, 2013). "News & Comments". Televisual. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  18. ^ "James McAvoy brings Frankenstein to life | The Knowledge Bulletin | The Knowledge". November 25, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  19. ^ "'On The Set' For 3/24/14: Nicole Kidman Starts 'Strangerland', 'Frankenstein' Wraps For 20th Century Fox". Archived from the original on May 28, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  20. ^ Busch, Anita. "Fox Switches 'The Martian' and 'Victor Frankenstein' Dates". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  21. ^ Rosen, Christopher (August 18, 2015). "Victor Frankestein trailer: Daniel Radcliffe & James McAvoy raise the dead". Entertainment Weekly.
  22. ^ "Katniss To Sling Arrows Into 'Creed' & 'Victor Frankenstein', As 'Good Dinosaur' Stalks Families: Thanksgiving B.O. Preview". Deadline Hollywood.
  23. ^ a b Anthony D'Alessandro. "Katniss Rules Wednesday On Track For $78M-80M 5-Day; 'Good Dinosaur' Eyes $58M-$62M; 'Creed' Punching $39M-$42M". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  24. ^ "Victor Frankenstein (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  25. ^ "Victor Frankenstein reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  26. ^ Hughes, David. "Victor Frankenstein". Empire.
  27. ^ "Victor Frankenstein review".
  28. ^ Birrell, Mark (April 16, 2017). "Critical Mass: Rotten Tomatoes and the death of individuality". The Spread. Retrieved July 17, 2018.