Bill Nighy eyes Frankenstein’s villain

Socratis Otto set to co-star as one of his evil henchmen

“Pirates of the Caribbean” villain Bill Nighy is in negotiations to play the baddie once again in Lakeshore Entertainment and Hopscotch Features’ “I, Frankenstein,” while Australian thesp Socratis Otto is set to co-star as one of his evil henchmen.

Aaron Eckhart toplines the pic, which Lionsgate is on board to distribute in the U.S. Stuart Beattie is directing from his own script, based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, co-creator of the “Underworld” franchise.

Eckhart stars as Adam, Frankenstein’s monster who is being hunted by demons that want to learn the secret of his creation in order to build an army of reanimated corpse demons.

Nighy is in talks to play a demon prince. Otto will play his compatriot who is tasked with tracking down and capturing Adam.

Lakeshore’s Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Richard Wright will produce with Hopscotch’s Andrew Mason, while Grievoux will exec produce with Hopscotch’s Troy Lum. Lionsgate exec Michael Paseornek will oversee the project for the studio. Production is scheduled to start in January in Australia, with the pic skedded for domestic release on Feb. 22, 2013.

Nighy, who next voices Grandsanta in Sony’s animated pic “Arthur Christmas,” has a diverse quartet of films on the horizon. He stars alongside Judi Dench and Maggie Smith in John Madden’s “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” and reprises his role as Hephaestus in WB/Legendary’s “Wrath of the Titans.” Brit thesp also co-stars in Bryan Singer’s “Jack the Giant Killer” and plays Kuato in Columbia Pictures’ remake of “Total Recall.”

Otto, who recently wrapped Lakeshore’s Amanda Seyfried-led thriller “Gone,” got his start on the Aussie TV series “Home and Away,” which also launched the careers of Chris Hemsworth and Isla Fisher.

Nighy is repped by WME and Markham, Froggatt and Irwin, while Otto is repped by Thruline Entertainment and El Erdmane at RGM Artist Group.

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