I, Frankenstein is a 2014 fantasy adventure movie directed by Stuart Beattie. It was co-produced by film companies from the United States and Australia. It stars Aaron Eckhart as Frankenstein's monster (also referred to as "Adam" and "Frankenstein"), Bill Nighy as the demon Prince Naberius (who uses the alias Charles Wessex), Yvonne Strahovski as Terra Wade, Miranda Otto as Queen Leonore of the gargoyles, Jai Courtney as the gargoyle warrior Gideon, Socratis Otto as the demon Zuriel and Kevin Grevioux as the demon Dekar. The screenplay was written by Kevin Grevioux, adapted from his own unpublished graphic novel. The film premiered in Argentina on January 20, 2014 and was released in the United States four days later.
The main character in the movie is Frankenstein's monster. Being made of parts of reanimated corpses, the creature attracts the attention of demons. The demons are able to possess human bodies but only if those bodies have no souls, meaning that their spirits can only enter corpses which then cannot be made to speak or move. The demons hope to learn Victor Frankenstein's secret of reviving the dead and use it to take over the world. Frankenstein's monster finds himself unwittingly drawn into a secret war between demons and gargoyles, the angelic protectors of mankind.
The film has received largely negative reviews and has performed extremely badly at the box office. Having been made on a budget of $65 million, the film had only earned $69 million worldwide by February 25, 2014
I, Frankenstein was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for violence.
The film begins by briefly summarizing the events of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. In the early 19th century, the scientist Victor Frankenstein creates a monster by sewing together parts of various different dead people and uses electricity to bring it to life. The scientist immediately rejects his ugly creation and all people that the creature encounters are horrified by him. Returning to his creator, the monster demands that Victor Frankenstein create a female monster who will be his mate. The monster's mate is never created. The monster takes revenge on Victor Frankenstein by murdering his wife Elizabeth on their wedding night. Victor Frankenstein pursues the fleeing monster to the far north, succumbs to the extreme cold and dies.
Thanks to his superhuman strength, the monster is not killed by the cold like his creator. He takes Victor Frankenstein's body back to the churchyard of his hometown and buries it there. In the graveyard, Frankenstein's monster is suddenly attacked by demons. He manages to fight them off before he is rescued by some angelic beings who take them to a cathedral in an unnamed city. He is brought before someone who introduces herself as Queen Leonore of the gargoyles and explains that the cathedral is their headquarters. Leonore explains that gargoyles are able to take on the form of grotesque stone carvings, which humans wrongly think is all that they are, but they are really guardians sent by the Archangel Michael to protect humanity from the demons which seek to take over the world. She explains that gargoyles are tasking with "descending" demons (destroying their bodies and trapping their spirits in Hell) and that gargyles can only be "ascended" (sending their spirits back to Heaven) by someone without a soul. Leonore notices that Frankenstein's monster does not have a soul but has the potential to gain one. She also remarks that the monster's creator failed to give him a name and names him Adam. Adam is invited to join the gargoyles in their fight but he declines. He takes some weapons, which will permit him to "descend" demons because they bear the symbol of the Gargoyle Order, and leaves. The gargoyle Gideon thinks that Adam is dangerous and should be destroyed but Leonore allows him to go.
For the next two hundred years, Adam tries to avoid human contact but frequently has to fight against and "descend" demons. In the present-day, Adam returns to the same city which he was brought to two centuries earlier. He is attacked by demons in a nightclub, fights against them and "descends" them but takes the life of a human being, a police officer, during the fight. Knowing that he has killed a human, the gargoyles take Adam to their cathedral and imprison him.
The demon Prince Naberius is also in the same city. He has taken on the identity of Charles Wessex, director of the Wessex Institute, which employs scientist Terra Wade to carry out research into reviving the dead. Naberius is informed that Frankenstein's monster has returned to the city.
The demons attack the gargoyles' cathedral. Adam persuades his captors to release him so that he can join the fight but Leonore is captured and many gargoyles are "ascended". Adam and the gargoyle Gideon go to the disused theater where Leonore is being held. They hand over Victor Frankenstein's journal, which had been in Adam's possession for the last two hundred years and which detail's how the scientist reanimated the dead, in exchange for Leonore's freedom. Adam follows the demon Zuriel back to the Wessex Institute.
At the Wessex Institute, Naberius addresses the creature as "Frankenstein", although he protests that his name is Adam. The demon explains why he is interested in Victor Frankenstein's experiments. Demons can possess human bodies but only if those bodies have no souls, meaning that they can only enter dead bodies and, consequently, the ability is of no use to them. If they knew Victor Frankenstein's secret, demons which had been sent back to Hell by gargoyles could possess reanimated dead bodies. Having either Victor Frankenstein's journal or Adam himself could give the demons the ability to reanimate thousands of soulless corpses. Adam escapes, taking the journal with him. He warns Leonore of the demons' plan and confronts Terra, telling her the truth about her work and her employer. Shortly afterwards, Terra is kidnapped by Naberius and held at the Wessex Institute.
Leonore agrees that Adam is dangerous and gives Gideon permission to kill him. The fight ends with Adam "ascending" Gideon instead. Knowing that more gargoyles will soon come after him, Adam decides to destroy Victor Frankenstein's journal and its dangerous secrets while he still has the chance. When gargoyles come in pursuit of him, Adam leads them to the Wessex Institute where they fight Naberius' demon army. Adam releases Terra but is confronted by Naberius. Taking on his true demonic form, Naberius declares that he now knows how to revive the soulless dead and let demons take possession of their bodies. He activates a machine which reanimates thousands of corpses stored at the Wessex Institute. Naberius believes that a demon has possessed Adam's body but is wrong because, through his actions, Adam has acquired a soul. Adam carves the symbol of the Gargoyle Order into Naberius' body, thereby causing him and all the demons that he commands to "descend" and destroying the Wessex Institute building itself.
Leonore forgives Adam for "ascending" Gideon and praises him for his bravery. Adam says good-bye to Terra and continues his lonely fight against the demons, embracing the name of "Frankenstein" which he had once rejected.