Here are the official production notes for 'Victor Frankenstein.' Be aware of possible spoilers ahead.
Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy star in VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale. Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences.
Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation.
Twentieth Century Fox presents a Davis Entertainment Company production, starring
Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy in VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, also starring Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott and Charles Dance. The film is directed by Paul McGuigan, and produced by John Davis, p.g.a. The screen story and screenplay is by Max Landis. The executive producers are Ira Shuman and Derek Dauchy, the director of photography is Fabian Wagner, BSC, and the production designer is Eve Stewart. The film editor is Charlie Phillips, the co-producer is Mairi Bett, music is by Craig Armstrong, and the costume designer is Jany Temime.
VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN is a “Frankenstein” movie unlike any other. While inspired by Mary Shelley’s classic novel and the countless interpretations of that story, screenwriter Max Landis’ “regeneration” focuses on the relationship between Victor and his best friend and assistant Igor. In fact, it’s the first story to be told largely from Igor’s perspective. “It’s a love story between these two mean, really,” notes director Paul McGuigan.
“Victor and Igor need each other; in fact, Victor needs Igor probably more than Igor needs
Victor in his life.”
Moreover, the film, though set in 1860, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, has a contemporary sensibility. “I don’t think of it as a period film,” says Daniel Radcliffe, “but as being completely modern. Victor and Igor have cutting-edge ideas; they’re the tip of the spear. They view science as being more than just observational. They believe it could be creative and re-shape the world.
“I like the film’s irreverent tone and how it avoids being Victorian and ‘buttoned-up,’”
Radcliffe continues. “Victor and Igor are forward thinking.”
Adds McGuigan: “These two young men are changing the world.”
VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN is also, notes James McAvoy, a love letter to the myriad films featuring those characters and themes. “This film has many of the familiar elements you expect to see in a Frankenstein movie, but adds unexpected dimensions of character, relationships and entertainment.”
“Max Landis has done nothing less than capture the zeitgeist of all the Frankenstein movies he’s watched,” says McGuigan. “He’s cherry-picked ideas and created his own
‘monster,’ so to speak.”
McGuigan was especially drawn to Landis’ decision to tell the story through Igor’s eyes. That notion points to a key misperception about the character and his role in
Frankenstein lore. Igor was not a character in Mary Shelley’s book, nor did he appear in most of the subsequent film interpretations. Actor Dwight Frye’s hunchbacked lab assistant in James Whale’s “Frankenstein” (1931) is the main source for the “Igor” of public imagination, though the character he played was actually named Fritz. Most moviegoers know the character through Marty Feldman’s performance in Mel Brooks’ beloved comedy “Young
Frankenstein,” though Feldman’s character insists on being called “Eye-gore.”
A different kind of moniker mix-up accompanies Victor himself. Many people attribute that name to the monster, instead of its creator – the good doctor. “So we give the name ‘Frankenstein’ back to the scientist – to Victor Frankenstein,” says McGuigan.
McAvoy relates that, “Whenever somebody asked me what I was doing at the moment [during production of VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN], I would say, I’m playing Frankenstein, and they’d reply, ‘You’re a little short to be playing the monster.’ And I’d correct them and say, ‘No, no, it’s the doctor.’ So, yeah, we’re giving the name back to Dr. Vic.”
A pivotal moment for both Victor and Igor is an early scene where Victor straightens Igor’s hunchback, which McGuigan says is “a metaphor for the entire movie.” Having rescued Igor from a London circus, Victor takes him to his flat and within minutes throws Igor against the wall and produces a massive syringe with which he performs a lightning-fast medical procedure on his new “patient.” Moments later, Igor’s hunchback is corrected. “If you think you knew Victor, the first few minutes of the film will prove you don’t,” says
McGuigan. “He’s dangerous and fun to watch.”
Fun and dangerous, yes, but he’s also, brilliant, obsessed – and a sociopath. As Victor walks a fine light between lightness and darkness, and between life and death, only Igor can keep him from a descent into madness from which there’ll be no return.
That’s no easy accomplishment, given that Victor and Igor are exploring fundamental questions, such as: Where do we come from? Where do we go when we die?
Can we prevent – or reverse – death?
“Victor and Igor are at the forefront of scientific and medical research,” notes McAvoy. “But just because they can cheat death, should they do it?
“I think Victor’s intentions are good,” he continues. “He’s looking to improve the human condition, which is very fragile. Victor is trying to make it more robust and, ideally, eliminate death, which has been a human obsession for ages.”
To McAvoy, a character with such world-changing ambitions would not be a lab rat holding course at a chalkboard. He’d be nothing less than a force of nature. “Victor just doesn’t stop moving. He’s a creator of machines, as well as of a man, plus a skilled engineer and an accomplished surgeon.”
Victor’s friendship with Igor is one of equals. Igor’s knowledge of anatomy instantly impresses the scientist, who takes Igor under his wing. Even as Igor is in many ways Victor’s first creation, Victor learns much from his friend and assistant.
Notes Radcliffe: “Igor has a very rich, intellectual life and, if he’s not the academic equal of Victor, he’s certainly a partner in terms of what they’re creating.”
Igor had spent his entire life in the circus, working as a clown. Although he’s much maligned and even abused by the owner and his fellow performers, Igor has become a gifted surgeon, healing injured performers and animals. Books and medicine are his refuge amidst these difficult, if not horrific, circumstances.
While visiting the circus in search of animal body parts, it is Victor who rescues Igor, after witnessing Igor performing an emergency procedure on an injured colleague.
“Victor lifts Igor out of those horrible conditions, which sets up an interesting dynamic in their relationship,” says Radcliffe. “He has created a new life for Igor. As Igor and Victor embark on this journey together, Victor starts losing his mind, and Igor tries to pull him back from the edge of insanity. But how do you stand up to somebody after they’ve given you everything? So, there’s an imbalance and tension in their relationship that is fascinating to me.”
Like Victor, Igor is a man of action. “Igor is quite well matched with Victor, in terms of physicality,” says Radcliffe. That translated into a lot of what Radcliffe calls “chucking each other around,” including the aforementioned and vigorous hunchback-removing procedure.
“Every time Daniel and I had a scene together, we’d ask each other, ‘How physical and dangerous-looking can we make this? Come on, man!,’” says McAvoy. “We are similar in energy levels and physical ability, so we just kind of went at each other, 12 hours each day.
Adds Radcliffe: “James is a bold actor and really hits the ground running in an exciting way.
That enabled us to make some interesting choices together.”
Igor’s only other friend is Lorelei, a beautiful trapeze artist with whom he had formed a close bond at the circus. It is Lorelei’s fall from the trapeze and Igor’s treatment of her severe injuries that so impresses Victor.
Former “Downton Abbey” star Jessica Brown Findlay portrays Lorelei, who despite her beauty, doesn’t fit into the world of the circus and has, notes Findlay, “found a real friend in Igor.”
Igor’s relationship with Lorelei is strong and deep, though it avoids the expected by never becoming a traditional romance. His dynamic with Victor adds further complexity to his relationship with Lorelei. “Lorelei is excited about Igor’s new opportunities, but when she witnesses the lengths to which Victor is pursuing his experiments, her emotional intelligence kicks in and she becomes fearful for Igor,” says Findlay.
Victor is none too pleased with Lorelei, whom he dismisses as a needless distraction for Igor. Notes McAvoy: “Victor perceives everyone, save Igor, as a hindrance, and Lorelei is an especially massive threat in Victor’s eyes, and he tries to undermine her at every step.”
Another thorn in Victor’s side is Inspector Turpin from Scotland Yard, who is investigating Victor’s morally questionable if not illegal activities. Andrew Scott, best known for his role as the malevolent Moriarty in the BBC-PBS production of “Sherlock,” takes on the role, which is a counterpoint to Victor, in that Turpin is a man of faith, and Victor is a man of science.
“Turpin absolutely cannot accept what Victor is doing, which is bringing back people from the dead,” notes Scott.
But they’re more alike than either would admit. Both men are obsessed…and damaged. Victor is fixated with creating life from death, and Turpin with religion and faith. Victor goes to any and all extremes to fulfill his dreams, and Turpin is equally resolute in stopping him, no matter what the cost. They fanatically adhere to their respective beliefs. Victor’s religion is science, whereas Turpin believes that taking creation into your own hands is to transgress against God.
Turpin, notes McGuigan, is an “old fashioned character that brings up questions of faith, but at the same time that’s a modern idea because we’re still talking about those issues today. Turpin is the story’s moral compass and conscience because he’s actually asking the right questions.”
If there’s true malice in VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, it’s personified by the character of Finnegan, a wealthy medical student and classmate of Victor’s at the Royal College of Medicine. Finnegan, portrayed by Freddie Fox, funds Victor’s experiments for his own nefarious purposes. He’s a psychopath, and like many of his ilk, Finnegan is proficient in identifying weakness in others. “He’s as ambitious as Victor but not as medically gifted, so he invests his talents and ambitions in manipulating Victor,” says Fox.
Yet, Fox insists that Finnegan is no more villainous than any of the other characters.
“Everyone in this story is compromised because they’re human beings with their individual desires,” he explains.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Filming on VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN took place across 60 days in the United
Kingdom. During production, the UK experienced some of its worst storms on record, which made some exterior night shooting extremely challenging for the cast and crew.
The production made creative use of the storms for one of the film’s iconic scenes, the
creation of the monster, and for its most impressive set: the interior of the castle and laboratory, where Victor brings his “experiment” to life.
The 60-foot-high cylindrical set, which had an open roof, was built over a four month period at Longcross Studios, Surrey. (The exterior scenes were shot at Dunnottar castle, a spectacular, crumbling fortress on a cliff top overlooking the sea, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.)
Once cast and crew were inside the walls provided some shelter from the relentless rainfall, but the lack of a roof (to facilitate the lightning strike that would bring the monster to life) made for a very wet set.
As filming progressed, the set was steadily destroyed by explosions, flames and water, which dramatically poured through it night after night.
This, and all the sets, were created by production designer Eve Stewart (a three-time
Oscar® nominee for her work on “The King’s Speech,” “Les Miserables” and “Topsy Turvy”), whom Daniel Radcliffe says is nothing less than “a force of nature and brilliant at what she does. Her work always has the ‘wow factor,’ as in, ‘god, this set is huge and really impressive!’ But the detail is also incredible, like the papers Eve had scattered around
Stewart envisioned Victor’s apartment/workshop/lab as being massive, reflecting the Industrial Revolution, where machines were often the size of buildings. These scenes were shot at London’s Crossness Pumping Station, which was built in 1865 as part of Victorian
London’s urgently needed main sewage system.
One usually thinks of the Industrial Revolution as being marked by soot, and even more soot, but Stewart says there were “enormous amounts of color underneath the factories chugging out soot.”
Stewart designed the circus set –where we meet Igor – from referencing Victorian circuses. On the surface, the circus, she says, “looks all jolly and wonderful and colorful, but actually poor Igor is enduring a horrific life of servitude, from which he’s rescued by Victor.”
The story’s monster is aptly named Prometheus, for the figure who tried to steal fire from the gods, which Victor is, in his way, is attempting to do, by stealing life-giving force from God.
The final version of the character was embodied by 6’ 10”actor Guillaume Delaunay, who donned a full prosthetic suit designed by Rob Mayor of Millennium FX, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of special makeup effects. To capture the monster’s sense of a life lost and reborn, Delaunay studied with a movement coach. “Prometheus is a newborn; he remembers how to move on an instinctual level,” says McGuigan.
Prometheus is actually version 2.0 of Victor’s work. An early try at creating life from death is named “Gordon,” and is even more horrific looking than Prometheus. Gordon is a mish-mash of animal body parts, including a hyena’s leg, a monkey’s head, and a dog’s leg. “It’s not pleasant,” says McGuigan, in dramatic understatement, “but that’s the whole idea.
Even though the audience may not see it, there’s a reason behind every choice for a limb and tissue. It’s all based on science.”
In working with his teams to conceive the design of Gordon, McGuigan likens himself to one of the subjects of his film. “It was incredibly exciting coming up with that design. You know, you become a bit like Victor Frankenstein because you’re thinking, oh, I’ll take a bit of this animal, and cross it with that animal…”
Still, it’s not all about science and scares. “There’s a look of sorrow and sadness in
Gordon’s eyes,” says Rob Mayor.
For much of Gordon’s on-screen time, he was controlled by cables operated by puppeteers. “It’s almost too real,” says executive producer Derek Dauchy. “Audiences aren’t going to believe we built this thing; they’ll think it’s all CGI.”
Prometheus and Gordon point to a key element of VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN:
invention and creation. But the film’s greatest creation is its unique take on the story of Igor and Victor, which provides a one-of-a-kind version of a classic tale.
ABOUT THE CAST
DANIEL RADCLIFFE (Igor) is currently filming “Now You See Me: The Second
Act,” which is the sequel to the successful heist film “Now You See Me.” Lizzie Caplan also joins the cast, which includes Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson. The film will be released in 2016.
Radcliffe was recently seen starring in the horror-thriller “Horns,” and the romantic comedy “What If,” opposite Zoe Kazan. Previously, he starred in Sony Pictures Classics’ “Kill Your Darlings,” which, having premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, opened to rave reviews. Last summer, he starred as Billy in “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” Martin
McDonagh’s comic masterpiece, set off the west coast of Ireland. The play made its way to Broadway from London’s West End, where it debuted in the summer of 2013 to critical acclaim and box office success, winning Radcliffe the Whatsonstage Award for Best Actor. Since completing the final installment in the series of eight “Harry Potter” films in 2010, Radcliffe has continued to prove himself a diverse and acclaimed talent. In 2011 he starred in a ten month sell-out run of the Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying,” and in 2012 Radcliffe starred in “The Woman in Black,” which became the most successful British horror film of all time, and was also a box-office success in the U.S. In October of 2013, Ovation aired Radcliffe's four-part TV mini-series, “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” a wildly original comedy drama based on a collection of short stories by celebrated Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov. Radcliffe portrayed the younger doctor, who has exchanges with his older self, played by Jon Hamm. Season two has already aired in the U.K. and the U.S. In 2012 Radcliffe hosted “Saturday Night Live” and was voted “Entertainer of the Year” by Entertainment Weekly, as the most talented and original performer of 2011. He also won two Teen Choice Awards and a Scream Award, as well as two nominations for the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor and Favorite Movie Star under 25.
Radcliffe’s other film credits include the Australian independent feature “December
Boys” and the role of Jack Kipling in the fact-based telefilm “My Boy Jack,” about Rudyard Kipling’s 17-year-old son Jack and the devastating effect his death in World War I had on his family. The film also starred Kim Cattrall, Carey Mulligan and David Haig.
Radcliffe is no stranger to the theatre, having starred as Alan Strang, in both the 2007
West End and 2008 Broadway productions of Peter Shaffer’s “Equus,” winning the award for
Best Leading Actor at the Annual Theatre Fan Choice Awards, organized by Broadway
World, as well as Best Leading Actor and Breakthrough Performance Awards at the Broadway.com Audience Awards. He also garnered Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for his performance in the play. The London and Broadway productions of “Equus” were directed by Thea Sharrock and also starred Tony Award winner Richard Griffiths.
A lifelong fan of the hit series “The Simpsons,” Radcliffe has lent his voice twice to the show. First, to the character of a brooding vampire named Edmund for the show’s “Treehouse of Horror XXI” special, entitled “Tweenlight,” which aired November 2010. He then voiced the character Diggs, a new transfer student whom Bart befriends. Previously, Radcliffe made a guest appearance as himself in the award-winning HBO/BBC series “Extras” starring Ricky Gervais. He first appeared on screen as the young David Copperfield in the BBC/PBS presentation of the classic Charles Dickens novel.
JAMES MCAVOY (Victor), a Golden Globe® nominee, won over American audiences with his critically acclaimed breakthrough performances in “The Last King of Scotland” and “Atonement.” Having been referred to as “the best young British actor of our times” by Empire Magazine, James continues to test himself with a wide variety of work, on stage, television and film and is regarded as one of the industry’s most exciting acting talents.
Although McAvoy took on small parts in high-profile projects like the World War I drama, “Regeneration” and the hugely-successful HBO series, “Band of Brothers,” he first came to prominence in the UK with the role of Josh in the Channel Four adaptation of Zadie Smith’s popular novel, “White Teeth,” with Geraldine James, John Simm and Naomie Harris. In the fall of 2003, McAvoy played Dan Foster in the BAFTA-winning BBC political drama series, “State of Play,” with Bill Nighy, John Simm and Kelly Macdonald. The series ran in the UK, debuted on BBC America and became one of the most successful UK exports of the last decade.
McAvoy’s popularity in the UK grew with his portrayal of the car thief, Steve, in the
BAFTA-winning Channel 4 series “Shameless.” He was nominated in the Best Comedy
Newcomer category at the 2004 British Comedy Awards for this performance. That year, McAvoy also impressed audiences in Stephen Fry’s comedy, “Bright Young Things” which was also released in the U.S. the following year. The film had an all-star international cast including Emily Mortimer, Peter O’Toole, Jim Broadbent and more.
In the summer of 2005, James traveled to Uganda to take on the lead role in “The Last King of Scotland,” directed by Oscar and BAFTA winner Kevin Macdonald. McAvoy was nominated for a BAFTA, a European Film Award, a BIFA and a London Film Critics Circle Award for his performance. That year he also starred in “Inside I’m Dancing” (U.S. title:
“Rory O’Shea Was Here”) directed by Damion O’ Donnell and co-starring Romola Garai. McAvoy was nominated in the Best British Actor category at the 2005 London Film Critics Circle Awards for his performance.
In December 2005, McAvoy was seen in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” He was nominated in the British Actor in a Supporting Role category at the 2006 London Film Critics Circle Awards for his performance. McAvoy also was awarded the Rising Star Award at the 2006 BAFTAs. In 2006, he starred in the adaptation of the hugely-popular David Nicholls book “Starter for Ten” for HBO films. The film premiered at the 2006 Toronto film festival.
In 2007, McAvoy starred in the Golden Globe award winning “Atonement.” Directed by Joe Wright and also starring Keira Knightly and Soairse Ronan, McAvoy received a Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination for Best Actor and was awarded the London Film Critics Circle Award, the Santa Barbara Film Festival Award and the UK Regional Critics award.
Other film credits include “Becoming Jane” (2007), “Penelope” (2008), “Wanted”
(2008), “X-Men: First Class” (2011), “The Conspirator” (2011), “Gnomeo and Juliet” (2011), and “Arthur Christmas” (2011). He then appeared in the Eran Creevy action thriller
“Welcome to the Punch,” Danny Boyle’s “Trance,” “Filth” opposite Jamie Bell,” “The
Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” He reprises his “XMen” role of Charles Xavier in next year’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
McAvoy has also played a large role in the London theater scene. In 2009, McAvoy took to the stage at the Apollo Theater in London’s West End playing the two roles of Walker and his father Ned in Richard Greenberg’s “Three Days of Rain.” His performance earned him an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor. He was also seen in “Breathing Corpses” at the Royal Court, “Privates on Parade” at the Donmar Warehouse and “Out in the Open” at Hampstead Theatre. James most recently starred in “Macbeth” at Trafalgar Studios. His performance has earned him an Olivier award nomination for Best Actor and the show was nominated for Best Revival.
McAvoy was born in the Scotstoun area of Glasgow, Scotland in 197 and is a graduate of the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY (Lorelei) began her career as a dancer, training with the National Youth Ballet and at age 15. She was asked to dance with the Kirov at the Royal Opera House in London for a summer season. While studying a Fine Art course at London’s prestigious Central Saint Martin’s College, Jessica began acting classes.
She is currently filming “This Beautiful Fantastic,” about a young woman who dreams of being a children’s author, and who forms an unlikely friendship with a cantankerous, rich old widower. She stars alongside Jeremy Irvine and Andrew Scott.
In 2015 Jessica starred in “The Outcast,” for BBC One, a two-part drama written and adapted by Sadie Jones, based on her best-selling and award-winning novel. Set in a booming post-war Britain, the drama is directed by Ian Softley (“The Wings of the Dove”) and is a deeply romantic, uncomfortably honest coming of-age story.
Last year, Jessica was seen in the fantasy drama “Winter’s Tale,” alongside Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe. The Warner Bros. adaptation of the 1983 Mark Helprin novel was directed by Oscar-winning scribe Akiva Goldsman. Jessica starred as a dying young woman who falls in love with a thief who breaks into her home. The drama takes place in 19th century and contemporary Manhattan. Also last year, Jessica was seen in Andrew Levitas’ dramatic comedy “Lullaby,” alongside Amy Adams, Garett Hedlund, Richard Jenkins and Terrence Howard; and in Lone Scherfig’s film “The Riot Club,” based on the London stage play “Posh,” in which she starred alongside Max Irons, Douglas Booth and Sam Claflin. The film follows students at Oxford University as they join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.
Jessica made her film debut in the coming-of-age drama “Albatross,” released in 2011, helmed by British director Niall MacCormick. Jessica had the lead role as Emilia, a headstrong teenager with writing ambitions. The film also starred Sebastian Koch, Julia Ormond and Felicity Jones. Since its premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in
2011, “Albatross” received fantastic reviews, with Jessica singled out for her stunning performance, which earned her nominations in the Best Newcomer categories at the 2012 British Independent Film Awards and the Evening Standard Film Awards.
Jessica is best known for her role as the convention-defying, politically-engaged Lady
Sybil Crawley in the phenomenally popular ITV period drama “Downton Abbey,” from Oscar winning writer Julian Fellowes.
Her television credits also include BBC One’s “Jamaica Inn,” based on Daphne Du Maurier’s novel of the same name. In 2012 Jessica appeared in in Channel 4’s “Labyrinth,” a TV mini-series based on the international bestseller by Kate Mosse. From producers Ridley and Tony Scott, Jessica starred in the lead female role alongside John Hurt. In December 2011, Jessica starred in the critically acclaimed satirical drama “Black Mirror: 15 Million Merits,” directed by Euros Lynn, written and produced by Charlie Brooker for Channel 4. Jessica played the tragic Abi alongside Rupert Everett and Daniel Kaluuya. Jessica was also seen as Rachel in an episode of the hugely successful E4 series “Misfits” opposite Robert Sheehan.
In 2011, Jessica was selected as one of four British actors to represent British talent at BAFTA’s inaugural Brits to Watch event in Los Angeles.
ANDREW SCOTT (Inspector Turpin) is a BAFTA and Olivier award-winning actor. He began his acting career at the age of 17 in the acclaimed Irish film “Korea.” Scott is best known worldwide for his portrayal of Moriarty in the multi-award winning “Sherlock,” for which he received many awards, including the BAFTA for Best Supporting actor.
Scott’s recent projects include the highly anticipated next installment of the James Bond franchise, “Spectre,” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” with Johnny Depp. He also appears in the all-star BBC Shakespeare project “The Hollow Crown.” Scott is currently filming “This Beautiful Fantastic,” the children's classic “Swallows” and “Amazons” for BBC Films
Scott’s credits also include “Legacy” for the BBC, directed by Pete Travis; “Dates with Sheridan Smith”; the critically acclaimed drama “The Town,” written by Mike Bartlett; BBC’s “The Hollow Crown”; “Blackout,” alongside Christopher Eccleston; and “The Hour” with Ben Whishaw and Dominic West.
Other work includes the multi award-winning “John Adams” opposite Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti for HBO; “Sea Wall,” a one man show written especially for Scott by Olivier award winning playwright Simon Stephens; and “The Vertical Hour,” Scott’s critically acclaimed Broadway debut opposite Julianne Moore, written by David Hare and directed by Sam Mendes, for which Scott was nominated for a Drama League Award.
Scott’s other films include “Saving Private Ryan”; “Nora”; the Irish films “Dead Bodies” and The Stag”; “The Scapegoat”; and “Locke” with Tom Hardy. In 2014 Scott starred in the BAFTA-winning “Pride,” alongside Bill Nighy, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton, for which Scott was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards
In 2014 Scott returned to the Royal Court for a second time to star in Simon
Stephens’ “Birdland,” for which Scott received rave reviews. His other theatre credits include
“Sea Wall,” “Emperor and Galilean” (National Theatre), “Cock,” “A Girl in a Car with a Man” (Royal Court), for which he won an Olivier award, “Design For Living” (Old Vic) and many plays in Dublin and London.
Along with his BAFTA, Olivier and BIFA awards, Scott has received two IFTA awards, a Drama League nomination, and has twice won the BBC Audio award for Best Actor for his work in Radio Drama.
In some thirty five years as an actor, CHARLES DANCE (Frankenstein) has amassed an impressive body of work in all media, including title roles with The Royal Shakespeare Company (“Henry V” and “Coriolanus”) and major work in London’s commercial theatre
(“Good,” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” and “Shadowlands, for which Dance received the London Critic’s Circle Award for Best Actor).
He appeared in the award-winning television series “The Jewel in the Crown” (BAFTA nomination for best actor), “Rebecca,” “Nicholas Nickleby,” “Fingersmith,” “Bleak House” (for which he received an International Emmy nomination and won the Press Guild
Award for Best Actor), “Consenting Adults,” about the ground-breaking Wolfenden Report of 1957, which resulted in the de-criminalization of homosexuality, and more recently “Secret Life,” a documentary about Charles Dickens’ turbulent personal life.
Dance’s major film credits include “Plenty,” “White Mischief,” “Good Morning
Babylon,” “The Golden Child,” “Alien 3,” “Last Action Hero,” “Hilary and Jackie,” “Michael Collins,” “Starter for Ten,” “Gosford Park,” “Kabloonak” (for which Dance received the best actor award at the Paris Film Festival in 1996), “The Perfect Disagreement” and “The Shooter.”
Dance’s debut as a film director and writer was “Ladies in Lavender” with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, for which both “Great Dames” were nominated for European Film Academy Awards. He starred in the television series “Trinity” and Merlin,” as well as in a new television adaptation of “Going Postal,” by Terry Pratchet.
Dance filmed “This September,” directed by Giles Foster, also staring Eileen Atkins, in the summer of 2010 and went on to film a second season of the series in 2011. He filmed a two-part adaptation of the Peter Pan story for Sky entitled “Neverland” in 2011, directed by Nick Willing. Dance also starred in “Game of Thrones” for HBO and Sky Atlantic, as Tywin Lannister.
Recent films include Roland Joffe’s “There Be Dragons,” David Gordon Green’s
“Your Highness,” Jonathan English’s “Ironclad,” Deepa Mehta’s “Winds of Change” (the filmic adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children), “Midnight’s Children” and
In 2012 Dance shot the Russian film “VIY” in Prague, “Strikeback 3” in South Africa, the political thriller “Secret of State” for Channel 4, and the third season of “Game of Thrones.” Later that year he travelled to Australia to shoot “Patrick,” directed by Mark Hartley.
In 2013 Dance shot “Child 44” alongside Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, directed by
Daniel Espinosa. In the summer he filmed season four of “Game of Thrones,” as well as starring alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly in “The Imitation Game,” directed by Morten Tyldum.
Dance began 2014 by filming “Despite the Falling Snow” in Belgrade, starring alongside Rebecca Ferguson, Sam Reid and Anthony Head. Later that year he wrapped shooting on Burr Steers’ “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” the long-anticipated film adaption of Seth Grahame-Smith's New York Times best-selling novel. Dance also appeared in “The Great Fire,” a four-part drama for ITV, in which he starred opposite Jack Huston, Andrew Buchan and Rose Leslie, and in Universal’s “Dracula Untold,” opposite Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper.
At the beginning of 2015 Dance returned from Australia, where he filmed
“Childhood’s End,” directed by Nick Hurran, in which Dance plays Karellen. He then shot
Thea Sharrock’s “Me Before You,” in which Dance stars alongside Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. Most recently, he appeared in an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel “And Then There Were None” for the BBC, starring alongside Sam Neill, Douglas Booth and Aidan Turner.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
PAUL MCGUIGAN (Director) is a Scottish film director, whose feature work includes “Lucky Number Slevin” and “Gangster No. 1.” On the TV side, Paul directed the pilot episodes for BBC’s “Sherlock” and ABC’s “Scandal,” and his continued work on “Sherlock” earned him a BAFTA, as well as an Emmy nomination for the episode “A Scandal in Belgravia.”
Featured as one of Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30” two consecutive years, MAX LANDIS (Screen Story, Screenplay) is an outspoken rising star in the screenwriting world. Having sold over fifteen projects in the last five years, Landis’ first produced feature, “Chronicle,” was a surprise box-office hit. He currently has several projects in different stages of post-production, including a feature film he wrote and directed, “Me Him Her,” starring Haley Joel Osment, and featuring Geena Davis and Scott Bakula, which premiered at the Seattle Film Festival; the action comedy, “American Ultra,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart; and “Mr. Right,” starring Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick, which premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
Landis is currently in the process of cracking the television world, having sold two pilots, as well as moving into more directing and producing. He recently sold “Dirk Gently,” based on the Douglas Adams’ graphic novel, to BBC America. As a producer Landis set up
“Channel Zero,” a horror anthology with Nick Antosca writing, at the Syfy Channel.
Landis has found success both inside and outside of the studio system, and has had a rare amount of tremendous success with original ideas. Barring VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, which is a complete reinvention that he brought to the studio rather than an assignment he won, all of Landis’ produced films are original ideas.
JOHN DAVIS, p.g.a. (Producer), Chairman of Los Angeles-based Davis
Entertainment, is one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers, having been a producer on more than 95 feature films and movies for television that have earned more than $4.8 billion worldwide. Davis Entertainment, established in 1986, has enjoyed a long-standing first-look production deal at 20th Century Fox, but produces projects for all studios and mini-majors. Some of the company’s action-adventure-thrillers include the acclaimed hit
“Chronicle”; the sci-fi hit “I, Robot,” starring Will Smith; the blockbuster “The Firm,” starring Tom Cruise; “Courage Under Fire,” starring Denzel Washington; “Waterworld,” starring Kevin Costner; “Predator,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; “Behind Enemy Lines,” starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman; “Predator 2; Flight of the Phoenix,” starring
Dennis Quaid; the John Woo action film “Paycheck,” starring Ben Affleck and Uma
Thurman; and “Alien vs. Predator,” combining the two classic creatures, among many others.
Davis’ family films include the Jim Carrey starrer “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”; “Norbit,” starring Eddie Murphy and marking their fourth film together; “Garfield” and “Garfield 2”; the $100 million-plus hit Eddie Murphy comedy “Daddy Day Care”; the two hugely successful “Dr. Dolittle” films, starring Eddie Murphy; the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau trilogy “Out to Sea,” “Grumpy Old Men” and “Grumpier Old Men”; “Fat Albert,” written by Bill Cosby; “Marmaduke,” based on the comic strip of the same name; and the Jack Black adventure comedy, “Gulliver’s Travels,” which earned $200 million worldwide.
Among his numerous upcoming feature projects are “Victor Frankenstein,” starring
James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe; the animated feature “Ferdinand the Bull” with Carlos Saldanha directing; the actioner “Protection”; Shane Black’s “Predator”; and David O.
Russell’s “Joy,” starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.
Other Davis productions include “When a Stranger Calls,” a remake of the 1979 horror classic which took the top spot its opening week; “Heartbreakers,” starring Sigourney Weaver, Gene Hackman and Jennifer Love Hewitt, which also opened as the #1 film in the country.
A hallmark of Davis’ success is his ability to attract the industry’s most successful actors, directors, writers and other creative talent. He has produced a number of successful, multi-title franchises, including the “Predator,” “Grumpy Old Men,” “Dr. Dolittle” and “Garfield” films, making Davis well-known for his ability to brand entertainment, extending his titles beyond the theatrical applications. Davis’ career is further distinguished as his films are routinely produced for responsible budgets and thus earn domestic and international box office success.
“Garfield,” for example, was produced for $42 million and earned nearly $200 million worldwide.
Davis has a canny knack for securing the rights to projects long but unsuccessfully sought after by others, including the “Garfield” films, “Fat Albert,” “The Sims,”
“Marmaduke,” the rights to the Ringling Bros. circus story, “Dr. Dolittle,” “Flight of the Phoenix,” and the two Grisham novels, The Firm and The Chamber. Davis also continues to produce DVD premiere titles born out of his successful “Garfield” and “Dr. Dolittle” franchises as well as numerous other titles.
Davis Entertainment Television has produced 20 telefilms, including the NBC movies
“The Jesse Ventura Story” and “Little Richard,” and the ABC movie “Miracle at Midnight,” starring Sam Waterston. His television department has series and made-for-television movies set up with all of the major television networks and cable broadcasters. Davis also produced
“Asteroid,” the hit NBC mini-series; “Volcano: Fire on the Mountain,” for ABC; NBC’s highly rated movie of Truman Capote’s “One Christmas,” starring Katharine Hepburn; and the popular CBS movie “This Can’t Be Love,” starring Katharine Hepburn and Anthony
Quinn. He is an executive producer on the acclaimed NBC crime series “The Blacklist,” starring James Spader, now in its third season. He will also serve as an executive producer on the new NBC drama series “The Player,” and the new comedy series for ABC “Dr. Ken,” starring Ken Jeong.
Davis was born and raised near Denver, Colorado. His obsession with film began as a youth when his father purchased the neighborhood movie theater, where he sold popcorn and subsequently viewed up to 300 films a year. Davis graduated from Bowdoin College, attended Amherst College and received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. His successful business ventures include setting up and running successful TV Stations and Wetzel’s Pretzels, which Davis was instrumental in expanding and sold in 2007, and his new pizza company, Blaze.
IRA SHUMAN (Executive Producer) has served as an executive producer, unit production manager or co-producer on numerous films, including “Night at the Museum,”
“The Pink Panther” (2006), “The Pink Panther 2,” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy,” “The Spy Next Door” and many others.
DEREK DAUCHY (Executive Producer) is the President of Production at Davis Entertainment, a film and television production company with a first-look deal at Twentieth Century Fox Studios.
During his nine years at Davis, Dauchy has overseen development and production of a diverse slate of films, and was the Executive Producer for a wide variety of projects, including the family films “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” and “Marmaduke,” and the sports drama “The
Prior to that, Dauchy spent six years as a senior executive at Revolution Studios, where he oversaw development and production for more than two dozen films, including the
“xXx” franchise, “Anger Management,” “Click,” “Across the Universe,” “Daddy Day Care” and “Are We There Yet?”
Dauchy began his career developing film projects as an executive at Baltimore/Spring Creek Productions, including “Analyze This” and “The Perfect Storm.”
Hailing from Munich, FABIAN WAGNER, BSC (Director of Photography) cut his teeth on music videos and short films before segueing into television as a cinematographer on the shows “Spooks,” “Survivors” and “Hustle.”
Wagner has gone on to lens episodes of groundbreaking programs like “Sherlock” and “Game of Thrones,” both of which earned him Creative Arts Emmy nominations for
Outstanding Cinematography. Wagner received an ASC Award nomination for his work on
“Game of Thrones.” He recently collaborated with Robert Carlyle on the actor’s directorial debut, “The Legend of Barney Thomson.”
EVE STEWART (Production Designer) is a prolific, multi award-winning
Production Designer whose impressive TV and film credits range from "The King's
Speech" to Mike Leigh's "Topsy-Turvy.” Stewart has earned multiple BAFTA, Emmy and
Academy Award nominations, most notably for her work on "Les Miserables" and "The
Stewart is currently working on the new Gore Verbinski feature, "A Cure for Wellness" and her recent credits include "Muppets Most Wanted" starring Tina Fey, Zach Galifinakis, Christoph Waltz, Ty Burrell and Stanley Tucci.
Stewart is a longtime collaborator of director Tom Hooper, having worked on the hugely successful feature films "The King's Speech" starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush, "Les Miserables" starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe, and "The Danish Girl" starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander and Amber Heard.
Stewart's talents also extend to television, including Abi Morgan's acclaimed series, "The Hour" starring Dominic West, Ben Whishaw and Peter Capaldi; the feted BBC drama "Call the Midwife"; and "Elizabeth I" starring Helen Mirren, Hugh Dancy and Jeremy Irons, for which Stewart won an Emmy for Outstanding Art Direction for a miniseries or movie.
Stewart has won several awards including a BAFTA for Best Production Design for "Les Miserables" and an Art Directors Guild Award for "The King's Speech.” She has received three Academy Award nominations.
Stewart's credits also include Mike Leigh's "Vera Drake,” "Topsy Turvy" and
"Secrets and Lies"; "Becoming Jane" starring Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy and Julie Walters; "The Damned United" starring Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall; Guy Ritchie's "Revolver"; and "The Hole" starring Thora Birch and Keira Knightley.
CHARLIE PHILLIPS’ (Editor) credits include several episodes of the acclaimed BBC series “Sherlock,” on which he collaborated with director Paul McGuigan. His other credits include the series “Man Down,” “Him & Her,” “Monroe” and “Psychoville.”
CRAIG ARMSTRONG (Music) was born in Glasgow, and studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London from 1977 to 1981.
From his base in Glasgow, Armstrong has written for film, classical commissions and solo recordings. He has composed for Baz Lurhmann’s “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge!,” as well as for “The Quiet American,” “Ray,” “Orphans,” Oliver
Stone’s “World Trade Center,” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age.”
In 2012 Armstrong collaborated for the third time with Baz Luhrmann on the film “The Great Gatsby,” for which Armstrong was Grammy nominated for his original score. Most recently Armstrong did the original score for Thomas Vinterberg’s “Far From the Madding
Crowd,” released by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
For his film scores, Armstrong has been awarded two BATFAs, two Ivor Novellos, a Golden Globe, an American Film Institute Award, a Grammy and, in 2007, an Outstanding International Achievement award from Scottish BAFTA.
Armstrong has released two solo records to Massive Attack’s label Melankolic, followed by “Piano Works on Sanctuary.” “Memory Takes My Hand” was released on EMI Classics in 2008 featuring the violinist Clio Gould and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Armstrong’s latest solo album “It’s Nearly Tomorrow” was released by BMG Chrysalis on October 2014 and features guest collaborations from the Blue Nile’s Paul Buchanan, Brett Anderson and Chris Botti, among others.
Armstrong has composed concert works for the RSNO, London Sinfonietta, Hebrides Ensemble and the Scottish Ensemble. Armstrong’s second Scottish Opera commission, “The Lady from the Sea,” premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012 winning the Herald Angel Award.
Armstrong is currently visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London and was awarded an O.B.E for services to the music industry.
JANY TEMIME (Costume Designer) designed the costumes for the films “Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” for which she received a Costume Designers Guild Award nomination, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts, 1 & 2”.
Temime was awarded the Costume Designers Guild (USA) Award for Excellence in
Fantasy Film in 2012 for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” and for Excellence in
Contemporary Film in 2013 for her work on the James Bond film “Skyfall,” directed by Sam
Mendes. Temime recently completed Mendes’ new Bond movie “Spectre.”
Temime designed Alfonso Cuarón’s critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller “Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Temime is a longtime collaborator with Cuaron, having worked on the director’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Children of Men,” the latter starring Clive Owen.
Temime’s credits include Martin McDonagh’s “In Bruges,” starring Ralph Fiennes,
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson; Brett Ratner’s “Hercules,” starring Dwayne Johnson; “Wrath of the Titans,” starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes;
Agnieszka Holland’s “Copying Beethoven,” starring Ed Harris; and Beeban Kidron’s “Bridget
Jones: The Edge of Reason,” starring Renée Zellweger. She earned a British Independent
Film Award nomination for her costume designs for “High Heels and Low Lifes,” starring Minnie Driver. Temime won a BAFTA Cymru Award for her work on Marc Evans’ “House of America,” and the 1995 Utrecht Film Festival’s Golden Calf for Best Costume Design for
Marleen Gorris’ Oscar-winning “Antonia’s Line.”
Her additional credits encompass more than 40 international motion picture and television projects, including Werner Herzog’s “Invincible,” starring Tim Roth; Todd Komarnicki’s “Resistance”; Marleen Gorris’ “The Luzhin Defense”; Paul McGuigan’s
“Gangster No. 1”; Edward Thomas’s “Rancid Aluminum”; Mike van Diem’s “Character,” which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film; Danny Deprez’s “The Ball”; George Sluizer’s “The Commissioner” and “Crimetime”; Ate de Jong’s “All Men Are Mortal”; and Frans Weisz’s “The Last Call.”
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