Frankenstein claims a place on Scotland’s map
The spectacular ruin of a coastal fortress in Aberdeenshire is featuring in the big budget horror film ‘Victor Frankenstein’ due to be released next week.
The stunning setting of Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven, has been used as a location in the modern re-telling of Mary Shelley’s gothic 19th century novel.
It stars actors Daniel Radcliffe, of ‘Harry Potter’ fame and James McAvoy, who is best known for his roles in The Last King of Scotland and X-Men: First Class.
In a twist to the original story, the movie tells the tale of Frankenstein from the point of view of his assistant and brilliant protege, Igor (played by Radcliffe).
The film examines his friendship with the young radical medical student, Victor Frankenstein, and how he witnesses the making of the monstrous legend.
But as Victor’s experiments go too far, it is left up to Igor to save his friend from his new-found obsession before he loses complete control of his evil creation.
Scenes were shot at Dunnottar Castle in March this year as the cast and crew arrived in Stonehaven.
Daniel and James were also said to have been spotted relaxing in the town during breaks in filming.
At the time Wendy Sylvester, former custodian of the castle, said: “We all got a chance to meet and spend time with the cast and crew.
“They were really warm with staff, and were very nice, genuine and down to earth.
“They seemed to like it here a lot, and I think they enjoyed being here very much.
“We really enjoyed having them – we’re missing them now they’re gone!
“It’s been a very exciting week for us here, and a nice break from the normal routine.”
This week, Jim Wands, the current custodian of Dunnottar Castle, said everyone was looking forward to seeing the film when it is released at the start of December.
He added: “All the staff here are excited to see our beautiful castle on the big screen.
“The film trailer features a quick shot of it, and the stunning location really adds to the dark atmosphere of the film.
“We are sure it will bring many visitors to ‘Frankenstein’s Castle’ and to the wider Stonehaven area.”
This isn’t the first time Dunnottar Castle has featured in a blockbuster movie.
It was included in the 1990 film ‘Hamlet’ starring Mel Gibson and was the inspiration behind the family castle in Disney-Pixar’s ‘Brave’.
Philip Smith, regional director for Aberdeen City & Shire at VisitScotland, said: “In 2013, Dunnottar Castle was shortlisted for the title of ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ – and it’s easy to see why.
“Its dramatic clifftop setting has proved a magnet for filmmakers, including Franco Zefferrelli, who used the castle as Elsinore in his 1990 adaptation of Hamlet, starring Mel Gibson.
“It was also the main source of inspiration behind Dunbroch – Merida’s family home in Disney-Pixar’s Brave.”
He added: “Set-jetting, where people visit the shooting locations of their favourite movies, is big business.
“So Dunnottar’s role in Victor Frankenstein is further great news for a fantastic visitor attraction which also features in our new guide – Set in Scotland: A Film Fan’s Odyssey.”
Directed by Paul McGuigan, Victor Frankenstein, is due to be shown in UK cinemas from next Thursday, December 3.