Yet the Slumdog Millionaire director is currently finding time between awards ceremonies to return to his theatrical roots at the National Theatre this month with his production of Frankenstein, a new play by Nick Dear based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel.
Currently in preview, the production stars Benedict Cumberbatch (TV’s Sherlock Holmes du jour, of course) and Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy in Boyle’s Trainspotting, natch). The duo will be alternating the story’s lead roles of overreaching scientist Victor Frankenstein and the grotesque Creature he creates.
You’ll probably have to camp out overnight if you want to get hold of tickets to the sell-out show, but National Theatre Live is going to broadcast two separate performances of the production (one of each pairing of the leads) in cinemas up and down the country on 17 and 24 March.
In the meantime, here’s a selection of Cumberbatch and Miller’s illustrious (and not so illustrious) cinematic predecessors.
Boris Karloff remains the definitive screen incarnation of Frankenstein's monster.
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) http://youtube.com/v/CiFfUnimUH4 The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
Peter Cushing stars as the Baron in the third of Hammer's Frankenstein films.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
Robert De Niro's Creature gets to grips with Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein in Ken's overwrought version.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.