In an impressive bit of synergistic strategizing, the Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Fathom Events will be screening a taped version of last spring’s “Frankenstein” stage play for two nights in June. What makes this such a slick move is that it’s perfectly tapping into a number of Zeitgeist-catching threads. The play co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch, whose amazing modern-day take on “Sherlock” just started airing on PBS in America (seriously, that first episode alone makes Guy Ritchie‘s movies look even more like frothy kiddy stuff) and is poised for Next Big Thing Status when he stars as the villain in J.J. Abrams‘ “Star Trek” sequel next summer, and the stage show was directed by Danny Boyle, who serves as the director of the London Olympics opening ceremonies (not too shabby). The play also features Jonny Lee Miller, who co-stars in this weekend’s delightfully bizarre Tim Burton thing “Dark Shadows.”
The set-up of Boyle’s “Frankenstein,” which features a steampunk-y soundtrack by Underworld (who will also serve on Boyle’s Olympics ceremony) and was performed at the Royal National Theater in London, is that each night the two actors switch places – so one night Cumberbatch will play the doctor, the other night he’ll play the monster, and vice versa with Miller. The production features a unique stage design and amazing atmospherics (rain, grass, etc.) that really push “proper theater” into some agreeably weirdo places.
This is not the first time the play has been broadcast on American shores – we saw it last year during an HD simulcast and went fucking bananas for it. (We’re guessing that it’ll be the same recordings.) They’re showing the play for two nights in June – on the first night it’ll be Cumberbatch as the monster and Johnny Lee Miller as the doctor and on the second night Cumberbatch will be the doctor and Johnny Lee Miller will be the monster (that’s the one we saw). As the Hollywood Reporter points out, Jonny Lee Miller will next star as Sherlock Holmes in a TV show called “Elementary” for CBS, another case of the two actors sharing roles. Cumberbatch can next be seen in a pair of roles in Peter Jackson‘s unnecessarily techy “The Hobbit” (one of the roles is a motion capture performance playing Smaug).
We highly recommend getting out and checking “Frankenstein” when it hits on June 6th and 7th. The report says it will be playing on “hundreds” of screens, so check your local movie listings. It’s worth it. Check out the newest trailer below.