It's Alive! TNT to Breathe Life into Dean Koontz's 'Frankenstein'

With Halloween around the corner, the news that TNT is developing Dean Koontz's five-book Frankenstein series comes at the perfect time. Deadline recently broke the story that Lionsgate Television and 1019 Entertainment will team up on this project, with father-son team James and Jake Hart tapped to write. The elder Hart is no stranger to the story, and has a small writing credit on the 1994 movie version of "Frankenstein," which starred Robert De Niro and Kenneth Branagh.

Koontz's Frankenstein series puts a modern twist on Mary Shelly's classic tale. Set in present-day New Orleans, Frankenstein follows the exploits of Victor Helios -- once known as Frankenstein -- as he harnesses modern technology to further his pursuits in creating the perfect race of people. His first creation, Deucalion, teams up with a pair of homicide detectives in an attempt to put a stop to Helios' dangerous obsession. If you have not read Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series, we highly recommend starting with the first book in the series, Prodigal Son. Learn more about it here.

Though there have been dozens of film and television adaptations of his novels, Dean Koontz has recently gone on the record to say that he has never been satisfied with the results. Koontz and his collaborator Kevin Anderson started working with USA Networks in 2004 to develop a television movie version based on Koontz's early concept for "Frankenstein," which he eventually left due to creative differences. That ended up being for the best, as it led Koontz to fully develop the modern Frankenstein concept into the five-book series we have today. In a terrific 2012 interview with Science Fiction blog iO9, Koontz talks about lessons learned the hard way:

I have pretty much given up on Hollywood and the whole idea of movies, because they never got what I did properly. And so I told my attorney, "When somebody calls and says, 'Are the rights to that book available?', Don't say yes or no. Call me up and tell me who they are, and I'll think about it.

Koontz's new selectivity in respect to future projects based on his works gives us tremendous hope. The highly anticipated cinematic adaptation of his Odd Thomas series with Anton Yelchin cast as Odd is reportedly completed and expected to hit theaters in 2013.

Are you excited at the prospect of Koontz's Frankenstein heading to the small screen? Who would you cast as Victor Helios and Deucalion?

  • Peggy

    I will love it if it sticks close to the story line.

  • Clayton

    I am really excited to hear that Mr. Koontz is giving another try to adapting the series to TV. I was disappointed when the attempt in'94 didn't take. The pilot they put out was even pretty good, I thought. My only complaint about it was that the guy playing Deucalion was not large enough in stature for the part. I would like to see a larger than life Deucalion in the TNT version if possible.

  • steve

    Who would I cast as Helios & Deucalion? Virtual unknowns, that's who!

    There are a lot of little known actors out there who could do a fine job. Some of us get bored with the same old tired faces that are stereotyped or over identified with one role.

    (For example: one great series with mostly little known actors is FX's "Justified.")

    • Ellie MartS

      Matt Lasky!

  • Stephanie Herringtontt

    I agree with you Steve. I would love to be an actress. I've never studied it but I have natural talents. Also I watched tv shows were the actor or actress talks about how they got prepared for their roll. So I've learned a lot from watching and listening to the big time actors and actresses..

  • Sarah

    I'm very, very excited to hear more about this Frankenstein series! This has made me so happy. I love that series so much, and I do hope they do a great job and do it justice. I want the very best people on this!!

    On another note, I didn't know they were making a cinematic adaptation of Odd Thomas. I'm definitely looking forward to that, as I loved that series as well. I hope it doesn't turn into a flop...

  • Ilmars

    Oh you've got to cast wwe's Kane as Deucalion that would be soo cool - and Carson should be either ashley judd or julianne moore and michael could reboot keanu reeves's career..... colin farell.... okay - I'll stop dreaming !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Terra

    Anthony Michael Hall as Victor...PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =O

  • renee

    love it i love the Frankenstein books! can not wait and i also cant wait on Odd Thomas !!!

  • Mark Stedorro

    As the Frankenstein series beckoned me to start reading, I was hesitant for many years for reasons I can't explain. Once I did though, wow, shut the front door! Cannot wait for the series. And Dean, your books, ergo Trixie were instrumental in evolving my own love affair with goldens. Hopefully my Doc, who lived five years less than your girl, is frolicking at her side.

  • robert

    Victor - Edward Norton
    Deucalion - Ron Pearlman

    • DIO

      I considered Ron Perlman also, but no, he is so type-cast as a shit-head in SOA, esides he's overused as a monster. My sugestion would be Dolf Rungren or another very large man who appears angelic, both beautiful & sad, but with an immortal soul. Micheal C. Hall would be good but isn't pretty enough to be Victor, Jim Caviziel with blonde ahir but I love him too much to see him portray a total maniacal assh-le. He should be the next Bond when Daniel Craig gets tired of doing Bond! We need someone pretty but maniacal for Victor, Ashley Judd would be a great Carson but not Julliane Moore, she's too old , Gary Dourdan for Micheal as the original character is half black, (I have all the books including an illustrated version of The Prodical Son. There's a red headed older black man who is doing a lot of TV & movies lately, not sure of his name but he would be perfect for Deucalion's old freak show friend

      • coll

        Dwayne the Rock Johnson as Duecalion, beautiful man for a beautiful character... scar up his face and body--tattoo galore...and perfect!!

        James Spader when he was younger and hot would have been perfect as i cannot think of anyone...i'm sure there are quite a few talented actorsw out there who need thier break and would be perfect in this role.

    • ruth weaver

      ron pearlman is too ugly...

  • Raymond

    I have 66 Dean Koontz novels in my collection and love them all. I have a copy of the movie Frankenstein thats Deans story and thought it was so well done.I hope TNT can do as well as Martin Scorsese did on the movie.

    • DIO

      Raymond, I, too am a Koontz fanatic, every time that I think I have read everything that he has written, I give it a break for a year or so only to find that he's written twenty-five more delicious books for me to devour, kind of like the builders in the Lost Souls book, this is a truly awesome series & my only hope & prayer is that TNT will have someone who will do it the justice that it richly deserves. Never has a series had me so completely engrossed as this one did! Total readings hours for the whole series including reading Prodical Son twice, both the illustrated & the regular book:six and one half hoursl couldn't put it down!!! And now I'm so looking forward to Odd Appacalypse, can't wait!

  • Tricia

    I always pictured Michael Fassbender as Victor. I also see Billy Bob Thornton as Mr. Lyss.

    I hope they get a Muppet for Jocko - I would like to think of him as more real than computer generated.

    • Thomas

      Yes, cause Muppets are so real !!!
      You should just give up now.

  • Shari

    Cool! I actually liked the 2004 adaptation and hope this one will be even better!

  • Irene

    I have been a fan of Mr. Koontz for decades. The first book of his that I ever owned and read was The Face of Fear. My Favorite being Watchers. All the movies derived from Watchers was unbelivably disappointing. Admittedly, I couldn't bear to watch them all the way through but what I saw was not what he wrote. Although I am really looking forward to seeing both Odd Thomas on the big screen and Frankenstein on t.v., I sure would like Mr. Koontz to give Watchers another try and this time do it right. With C.G. nowadays (which he didn't have before) it's totally possible.

  • marnie

    I am too a HUGE fan. My favourite is Odd Thomas', all of them. I did have many books, but they were lost in our fire. Anyways it would be comforting to talk to others that enjoy Mr Koontz as much as I do.

    • Irene

      Marnie, let me just say I'm sorry about your misfortune with a fire. Not to say that damage to a house is in any way minor but I am an avid book reader and own about 1000 books including about 25 or more Dean R. Koontz books. If I were to lose them all to a fire, though I care about all my books, there are only 7 that mean so much to me for different reasons that it would break my heart. "Watchers" is one of them.

  • Tiffany

    I am so excited to see how this turns out. I am a huge Dean Koontz fan & LOVE LOVE LOVE the Frankenstein series. I really hope they do the book justice. There are so many movies/TV shows based on books out there that have been nothing but a disappointment. My imagination always plays a better movie in my head than Hollywood can put on a screen. So I've stopped getting excited about them. But given Mr. Koontz's refusal to let USA change his ideas when this was first thought of I am in high hopes that this will be just as good as the books. One thing I am looking forward to most is seeing how they portray Jocko. I just love that little guy. I wish I could have him as my little" adopted son". As for which actors I would like to see play Victor & Deucalion, some fresh faces would be nice. There's a lot of talent out there that hasn't been found yet.

  • It's a good news that it will be on the big screen. I hope that they will stick to the story line.

  • DIO

    NO! NO! NO! Muppets for Jocko! He's to precious for a muppet to portray him; word! I named my "Elf on the Shelf" Jocko & photographed all of his shenanigans! No, we need new faces, I want to see TNT of USA, whoever gets to do this wonderful series, I would love to see it done as closly to the book as possible and want to see the WHOLE five books incorporated.. My only dissapointment in the movie was that whoever did it forgot the ornate tatoos for Deucalion's face when the bomb in his head, meant to explode, killing him if he ever tried to destroy Victor, & he did, the it did! VERY important part! Nothing was said concerning his relationship with Ben, getting to know him when they were in the freak show. Just too many details that would have explained so much were omitted. As a novice writer myself, I realize that in order to "fit" the budget, some details had to be omitted but come on folks, we need to know how all of Deucalion's relationships added up to the quest for vengence towards Victor other than the fact that the man was a total madman whose ideas & desires to "rule the world" were way off base. All in all tho, I'm ALL ON BOARD fir a series as long as it would include all five books & the master & genious that is Dean Koontzare acknowledged. His part in the movie version was blatently ignored, I feel that the credits should have included something like "based on the novel" by D.Koontz.

    • sharon

      aving just had a marathon of reading a read all the frankinstein novels in one go this week. I would just like to say, I wholeheartedly agree about your comments on Jocko. He has to be the best wee hero in it and made me laugh out loud numerous times ( the cinnamon bun scene). |I also agree with some of the other comments that films of books rarely come up to scratch but , hopefully, this one will

  • I love the Frankenstein series and can only imagine one person to play Michael and it would be Mark Ruffalo and I see Michelle Rodriguez as Carson. I also can see Edward Norton as Victor. There are so many great characters in this series! I hope it goes to the Big screen! Would love it!! Either way, I can only see these two actors as Michael and Carson!

  • Wulfman

    Michael Fassbender as Victor! Jason Mamoa as Deucalion!

    • Tam

      YES! Jason Mamoa!!!!!!!!! Dreeeeeeam!!!!! And that Michael fassbender would be a good victor, or James Callis... Beau Garrett would be a great Erica! And when reading I always pictured a young Orlando Jones as Michael and Not sure about Carson... She's too cool

      • ruth weaver

        jason mamoa would be hot!!!

  • Micky

    Kane Hodder as Deucalion!

  • Ron

    Loved the 5 book series. Maintain the dialogue stream and character relationships and this will be the best adaption yet!

  • coll

    Dwayne the Rock Johnson as Duecalion, beautiful man for a beautiful character… scar up his face and body–tattoo galore…and perfect!!

    James Spader when he was younger and hot would have been perfect as victor…now i cannot think of anyone…i’m sure there are quite a few talented actorsw out there who need thier break and would be perfect in this role.

  • Sarah

    As Duecalion i would have Tom Hardy (played Bane in dark knight rises) and as Victor i would have Tony Curran (played Datak Tarr in Defiance).

  • Pam

    I have been a fan of Dean Koontz for a very long time an it disgusts me how the people in Hollywood always screw up his novels when they turn them into movies. But if Dean gets behind the projects that's good enough for me.



    • jason

      good cal on the undertaker

  • Flick Bailey

    When is the 6th book being released? I am greatly anticipating what's to come. Do you think the t.v show will be shown inbthe u.k?


    Anthony Hopkins as Victor, that all i ask!

  • Monica

    Would love it if this is still the case!! This is one of my favorite stories!!

  • ruth weaver

    i would cast kevin durand as deucalion...not sure about helios...

  • Bob

    The Frankenstein series from Dean Koontz is the best he has done. Could not put the books down.

    Can't wait to see it on TV. I agree with Mr Koontz. Saw a couple of his earlier films, and they could have been a lot better. I am sure it is difficult to transfer his writings, and totally do them justice.

  • chris

    I think Jon Hamm from "mad men" or Vego Morteson, should play Deucalion, he's tall handsome destroy half his face and deepen his voice and you have it, he will be feared, admired, pitied

    Victor should be played by Jeremy irons, maybe someone a little younger but with a strong accent that can go on and off

  • chris

    Unlike some people, I didn't care for joko...that kind if comic relief just didn't fit the essence of the book...sly remarks, unexpected witty remarks that make u grinn were better suited for this kind if series

    • FRM

      It has been about 10 months since this was announced and total silence since. No updates in that amount of time do not bode well for this actually seeing the light of day.

      Jocks is a must, and I'd like to see Peter Dinklage in the role.

  • Kenneth Bowien

    I've read all 5 books and they're great,and I'd pick Danny Trejo believe it or not as Duecalion,and Val Kilmer as Victor Helios.

  • Kim

    I want to know who should play a Nummy and Mr. lyss .... My favorites !

  • Kim

    Dream team;
    My lyss- Walter Coggins
    Nummy- John c Reilly
    Victor- James Franco
    bryce- Jk Simmons
    Michael- Jake Gylynhall
    Carson- Natalie Portman
    Ducalian- Jason moama
    Sammy- Navin Andrews
    Sully- Clint Eastwood
    grace- Julianna Moore
    Travis-Colin ford
    Frost- Colin hanks
    Ericka-Scarlett Johnson
    Addison- Timothy Olyphant
    Jocko- andy serkis
    DJ- Bradley cooper