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IGOR

About The Production
At its heart, IGOR is a story of hope and how the most unlikely people can change the world. For screenwriter Chris McKenna, it all began with a simple idea. A lifelong fan of horror films, he set out to create a riff on FRANKENSTEIN and other evil scientist films by flipping that world upside down – turn the slurring, hunchbacked lab assistant into a genius, the evil genius into a fraud, the evil monster into a sweetheart, the brain-in-a-jar to an idiot, and so on. "I got stuck on this notion of a dark, stormy Transylvania-like universe and wanted to explore that setting,” said McKenna. "Then I found myself wondering about Igor – there's one in every evil scientist film ever made – who is he and where did he come from? What's his story?” 

For director Tony Leondis, McKenna's slightly twisted take on a classic tale immediately intrigued him and sparked visions of creating a film with a look that was completely unique. Also a life-long fan of horror films, as well as of film noir and German expressionism, Leondis envisioned a world of gothic romanticism that was creepy but accessible and populated with characters and plot points reminiscent of classic gothic novels – the curse on a village, the downtrodden servant turned hero, the innocent girl – all realized with a very strong visual take and wrapped in a modern-day allegory with generous amounts of humor. 

"From the first time I read Chris' script, I just loved everything about it,” said Leondis. "We have the same off-beat, sardonic humor and I was fascinated with the idea of exploring this world and its characters and bringing a unique perspective and look to it.”

To bring the audience into that world and allow them to really connect to the story and its characters, Leondis wanted to give them an entirely new vision of Mad Scientists and Evil Inventions as well as bring in a few subtle parallels and references to current issues. "My goal was to take familiar monster motifs and rearrange them in a surprisingly fun way to evoke the memories that people have of classic monster movies. Something familiar enough to connect to, but at the same time fresh and unexpected so that it became a fun ride – and maybe makes them think a little along the way.”

To accomplish this, Leondis and McKenna continuously worked on further developing the world of Malaria and its characters. "I feel it got better and stronger as it developed,” said McKenna. "Tony and I really clicked and shared a lot of the same sensibilities and we had an incredible creative team. The final result is a reflection of the talents of everyone involved.”

In a lot of ways, it seemed like a simple story to tell: In a world of evil scientists and hunchbacked Igors, one Igor wants to be a scientist. But as McKenna soon found out, setting up the world was perhaps the hardest thing to conquer. 

Besides laying out the deceptively simple concept of Igors, the backstory of why this land became the way it was needed to be explained and an assortment of very particular characters had to be introduced. "We tried a variety of different ways to get all that information out in as entertaining a way as possible,” said McKenna. "It was a very collaborative experience with the director, the producers, and the actors, who brought an insanely deep reservoir of talent to their characters that made each take on a life of its own.” 

That deep reservoir was realized in an ensemble cast of incredibly talented actors who form the voice cast of IGOR. Heading up the group as the cute but creepy, Igor, is John Cusack. He is joined by Steve Buscemi as the somewhat morose Scamper; John Cleese as Dr. Glickentsein; Jennifer Coolidge as the sultry Jaclyn; Arsenio Hall as Carl Cristall; Sean Hayes as the irrepressible Brain; Eddie Izzard as Dr. Schadenfreude; Jay Leno as King Malbert, James Lipton as himself, Molly Shannon as Eva and Chris

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