Sunday, January 25, 2009

Willis O’Brien’s Frankenstein!



"O'Brien came up with a proposed treatment, King Kong vs. Frankenstein, where Kong would fight against a giant version of Frankenstein's monster in San Francisco. O'Brien took the project (which consisted of some concept art and a screenplay treatment) to RKO to secure permission to use the King Kong character. During this time the story was renamed King Kong vs. the Ginko when it was believed that Universal had the rights to the Frankenstein name (they actually only had the rights to the monster's makeup design). O'Brien was introduced to producer John Beck who promised to find a studio to make the film (at this point in time RKO was no longer a production company). Beck took the story treatment and had George Worthing Yates flesh it out into a screenplay. The story was slightly altered and the title changed to King Kong vs. Prometheus, returning the name to the original Frankenstein concept (The Modern Prometheus was the alternate name of Frankenstein in the original novel). Unfortunately, the cost of stop animation discouraged potential studios from putting the film into production. After shopping the script around overseas, Beck would eventually attract the interest of the Japanese studio Toho. Toho had long wanted to make a King Kong film and decided to replace the Frankenstein creature with their own monster Godzilla. They thought it would be the perfect way to celebrate their thirtieth year in production. John Beck's dealings with Willis O'Brien's project were done behind his back, and O'Brien was never credited for his idea. " - quote source. - Image source.

On the subject of Kong, here's a fantastic conceptual sketch.

And test footage of another never to be made Willis O'Brien classic stop motion monster..



Does anyone know what Willis O'Brien film the Monster Brains logo monster is from?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Black Scorpion.
- there is a great trailer for it on youtube.
That Las Vegas Monster clip is great!
Paul Rumsey.

Russell Richards said...

The Black Scorpion

Orrin said...

Thanks so much for posting this! Amazing stuff.

Also, the answer is: The Black Scorpion. What do I win?

Steve said...

Wow, that is so cool. I'd never heard of either of these projects.

Furball62 said...

If i'm right, is from the movie The Black Scorpion, right?

qosmiq said...

This blogis the coolest blog ever!!!!
Thank you, I am going to have to lurk through it extensively!

buzz said...

The Monster Brains logo is from BLACK SCORPION.

Scythemantis said...

The black scorpion!

Aeron said...

Thanks and yes you are all right, The Black Scorpion!

dr-silberman said...

This is great! This blog is the best.

Dave said...

Actually the Las Vegas Monster was a project of O'bie's assistant, Pete Peterson. The DVD for Black Scorpion includes this clip as well as test footage from another of Peterson's unmade projects, The Beetle Men. YouTube clip here. Amazing stuff!

Will said...

Have you ever seen Uwe Bremer's illustrations for Frankenstein? I think they're from 70s Germany. I added this to my flickr site, but I've since seen it in color (in an old German mag). I'd love to see them all -- not sure what book edition they come from.

Aeron said...

I'm not familiar with Bremer's illustrations but I just googled him and I'm really enjoying his work, thanks for turning me on to his stuff!

There's a really fantastic series of black and white woodcut illustrations of Frankenstein but I can't think of the artist name right now.

Will said...

For the woodcuts, maybe Barry Moser?

I'll send you those Bremer Frankenstein images from the magazine if I can ever locate them again.