Poor Things, the latest from The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos, has added Mark Ruffalo to its cast. Ruffalo joins Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe in the movie, which is based on the novel by Alasdair Gray and described as a re-imagining of Frankenstein. In Poor Things, the Frankenstein Monster-inspired character has been replaced with “Bella Baxter – a beautiful young erotomaniac brought back to life with the brain of an infant.”
Collider has the scoop that Mark Ruffalo is joining the Poor Things cast alongside Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe. Yorgos Lanthimos is directing the pic, with a script from Tony McNamara, who co-wrote the Lanthimos/Stone movie The Favourite. Poor Things is based on Alasdair Gray’s novel, described as a “hilarious political allegory and a thought-provoking duel between the desires of men and the independence of women, from one of Scotland’s most accomplished author.” Here’s the book’s synopsis:
“Ostensibly the memoirs of late-19th-century Glasgow physician Archibald McCandless, the narrative follows the bizarre life of oversexed, volatile Bella Baxter, an emancipated woman, and a female Frankenstein. Bella is not her real name; as Victorian Blessington, she drowned herself to escape her abusive husband, but a surgeon removed the brain from the fetus she was carrying and placed it in her skull, resuscitating her. The revived Bella has the mental age of a child. Engaged to marry McCandless, she chloroforms him and runs off with a shady lawyer who takes her on a whirlwind adventure, hopping from Alexandria to Odessa to a Parisian brothel. As her brain matures, Bella develops a social conscience, but her rescheduled nuptials to Archie are cut short when she is recognized as Victoria by her lawful husband, Gen. Sir Aubrey Blessington.”
Stone is playing the Bella Baxter character, but there’s no word just yet on who Ruffalo or Dafoe will be playing. Production on the project is set to begin this year, with a 2022 release date likely. In addition to starring, Stone is also producing. Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe from Element Pictures, Film4, and Lanthimos will also produce.
This material sounds exactly like the sort of thing Lanthimos gravitates towards, and I’m sure it’ll be a strange, darkly comedic film when it’s complete. I’ll confess that I haven’t loved all of Lanthimos’s work – I often find it too cruel. But I loved The Favourite, so I’m all-in on the filmmaker reuniting with the star and writer of that film for this one.
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