Sydney-based Make-Up Effects Group will create all the special makeup effects on new big-budget feature film I, Frankenstein.

Led by co-founders Nick Nicolaou and Paul Katte, the award-winning team has already started work on the monster tale in preparation for its expected February shoot. It will be filmed in Melbourne, while post-production will also remain in the state.

Make-Up Effects Group, which has worked on such recent films as Peter Jackson's The Hobbit and low-budget horror Needle, has already created conceptual demon sculptures and is currently developing the Frankenstein “look” for lead actor Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight). Other actors in the film – rumoured to be Bill Nighy (Shaun of the Dead) and Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings) – will soon go in to have their head casts done. Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck) is also reportedly in talks with the filmmakers.

It sounds like an exciting project for the special effects company as the modern-day gothic thriller will bring back classic monster characters such as Frankenstein's Monster, The Invisible Man and Dracula.

Based on a DarkStorm Studios graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, the film – directed by Tomorrow, When The War Began’s Stuart Beattie – tells the story of Frankenstein’s creature Adam (Eckhart), who has survived into the present day due to a genetic quirk in his creation. Making his way to a dark, gothic metropolis, he finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries-old war between two immortal clans.

It will be produced by Hopscotch Features’ Andrew Mason (Tomorrow) as well as Richard Wright (Underworld), Tom Rosenberg (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) and Gary Lucchesi (The Lincoln Lawyer).

Hopscotch/eOne will distribute I, Frankenstein locally, while Lionsgate Films will handle US distribution. Lakeshore Entertainment will handle international sales.

MEG, which has credits including The Matrix trilogy and Nightmare & Dreamscapes, has been busy working on two local horror films Redd Inc and its own personal baby: Mary Doe. Legendary effects man Tom Savini – known as ‘The Godfather of Gore’ after such work on George A. Romero’s “Dead” series – came out of retirement to work on both films.

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