Cleese pacts for role in TriStar’s ‘Frankenstein’

John Cleese has been cast opposite Robert De Niro and Kenneth Branagh in TriStar’s “Frankenstein,” sources said Friday.

The “Monty Python” alum and “A Fish Called Wanda” star will play the crazy professor Waldman, who is Victor Frankenstein’s mentor in the adaptation of Mary Wollencraft Shelley’s 1818 classic.

As previously reported, Branagh will direct and star as Dr. Frankenstein, De Niro will play the monster and Helena Bonham-Carter will play the female lead.

“Frankenstein” marks Branagh’s largest studio production to date, after such pix as Paramount Pictures’ “Dead Again” and the independent productions “Much Ado About Nothing,””Henry V” and “Peter’s Friends.”

“Frankenstein” is planned as one of TriStar’s major tentpole releases for 1994, along with Fried/Woods Films’ “Godzilla” and director Norman Jewison’s “Him.”

The latest adaptation of “Frankenstein”– touted as being the most faithful to Shelley’s book — is being produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Prods. shingle with Coppola and screenwriter Jim V. Hart (“Bram Stoker’s Dracula”) producing. Steph Lady is scripting.

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