You might remember the exciting news from a few weeks ago that Alan Goldsher's upcoming novel "Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion" -- a clever mock-oral history of the zombie Beatles -- had been optioned for a feature film treatment. I immediately reached out for a copy of the book and an interview. Anyone willing to mash The Beatles together with zombies is someone I want to be talking to, and someone you readers should be hearing from.
While the bulk of the time I spent on the phone with Goldsher was focused on The Beatles, we did touch briefly on the follow-up effort that he's in the process of pulling together now. The title of this new book is "Frankenstein Has Left The Building." It's a project that is still in its early stages of life, but Goldsher has a clear vision for joining what he considers to be two highly complementary tales: those of Elvis Presley and Frankenstein's monster.
"Basically, instead of doing what I did with 'Paul is Undead' -- taking the Beatles myth and applying zombie mythology on top of that -- I am taking 'Frankenstein' the book and rewriting it with Elvis [Presley] as the creature," he explained. "The book takes place in the 1960s. It's still the same format as the original 'Frankenstein,' which is Dr. Frankenstein is relating the story to the ostensible narrator of the book."
"It's going to be very close in terms of story arc," he continued. "All of the same characters are going to be there, but it's going to be written in a whole new voice. Our Frankenstein character, he's from the South, just like [the real] Elvis."
It's an intriguing idea that starts to make a whole lot of sense once you get a sense of what attracted Goldsher to the idea in the first place. "There's a big overlap with the Frankenstein story and the Elvis Presley story in that they're both fabricated entities. Frankenstein the creature is made from parts and Elvis was put together by really intelligent record label people. It could be argued that he was the first prefab artist. And then, both the creature and Elvis spent their lives looking for love and acceptance."
From that perspective, it really is a natural fit. On the one hand, you have this monstrous man-beast, a zombie-like entity created by a mad scientist out of corpse parts. And on the other you have Elvis Presley, the very first rock star, known largely for his persona as the "King of Rock & Roll."
The only question then is how the story will be treated. The fictional tale of Frankenstein's monster and the true-life tale of Elvis both get pretty dark. Goldsher's natural wit comes across clearly in "Paul Is Undead," but can we expect the same in "Frankenstein Has Left The Building"? "Of course it's going to be funny," he said. "It's not going to be one-liner after one-liner like 'Paul Is Undead,' but there's definitely a light side to it."
Stay tuned to MTV Movies Blog for more from Goldsher this week, on "Paul Is Undead" and the upcoming adaptation.
How do you think the Elvis and Frankenstein stories compare? Do you think this is a mash-up that's ripe for a novel?