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Guillermo Del Toro Wants Benedict Cumberbatch For 'Frankenstein', Charlie Kaufman Writing 'Slaughterhouse-Five'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 6, 2013 at 3:34PM

Okay, so before we dive into this, let's just recap where the forever busy Guillermo del Toro is at right now. He's got his robots vs. monsters thing "Pacific Rim" hitting theaters this Friday, after which he'll work on the TV adaptation of his novel series "The Strain" for FX through until the end of the year. And then he'll kick off 2014 with his next feature film, the gothic horror "Crimson Peak." But as always, del Toro has about a half dozen irons in the fire, and he's already looking to reteam with his "Crimson Peak" star Benedict Cumberbatch on another project.
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Benedict Cumberbatch Frankenstein Guillermo Del Toro Slaughterhouse Five Charlie Kaufman

Okay, so before we dive into this, let's just recap where the forever busy Guillermo del Toro is at right now. He's got his robots vs. monsters thing "Pacific Rim" hitting theaters this Friday, after which he'll work on the TV adaptation of his novel series "The Strain" for FX through until the end of the year. And then he'll kick off 2014 with his next feature film, the gothic horror "Crimson Peak." But as always, del Toro has about a half dozen irons in the fire, and he's already looking to reteam with his "Crimson Peak" star Benedict Cumberbatch on another project.

Speaking with Daily Telegraph (today's print edition, not yet online), the paper reveals "he is hoping to direct Cumberbatch again in a new film version of 'Frankenstein.' " Exciting stuff, but as fans know, the project has been one del Toro has been working on for years in fits and starts. Back in 2009, he was reportedly doing test shooting and had selected Doug Jones (who featured as creatures in "Pan's Labryinth" and the "Hellboy" movies) to play the freakish monster. And it's easy to understand why del Toro wants Cumberbatch.

The actor has already played both the monster and Dr. Victor Frankenstein to great acclaim, starring opposite Jonny Lee Miller in Danny Boyle's very well-received stage version that also screened in select theaters last year. All said, we'll have to see if this actually works out, but it seems del Toro is continuing to tinker with it, though it remains to be seen what Universal will do particularly considering Fox already has their "Frankenstein" starring Daniel Radcliffe already slated for a fall 2014 release.

Another long-gestating Universal project -- part of a four picture deal he signed in 2008 -- is a big screen version of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five." Not much has been heard about this one recently, but del Toro has lined up a helluva writer to take it on. "Charlie [Kaufman] and I talked for about an hour-and-a-half and came up with a perfect way of doing the book," he told the Daily Telegraph. "I love the idea of the Trafalmadorians [the aliens of 'Slaughterhouse-Five'] -- to be 'unstuck in time,' where everything is happening at the same time. And that's what I want to do. It's just a catch-22. The studio will make it when it''s my next movie, but how can I commit to it being my next movie until there's a screenplay? Charlie Kaufman is a very expensive writer!"

"I"ll work it out," he added.

Vonnegut + Kaufman + del Toro? Goddamn. That sounds amazing, but let's not forget, even when all the pieces are seemingly in place, del Toro's initial experience at Universal hasn't exactly been roses. They kiboshed his R-rated "At The Mountains Of Madness." "I'll show you the art and your heart will break," he said of the movie, which he is still trying to seek financing for, along with his developing, darker stop-motion version of "Pinocchio."  

So lot's of stuff on del Toro's plate....and let's not forget a possible "Pacific Rim 2" if it does the business Warner Bros. hope it will do. Which of these projects do you want to see move to the front of del Toro's busy schedule?

This article is related to: Frankenstein, Guillermo del Toro, Charlie Kaufman, Slaughterhouse-Five


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