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Montillo’s book optioned for movie

Faculty member Roseanne Montillo’s book, The Lady and Her Monsters (2013, William Morrow) may be turned into a feature film, according to Montillo ’96, MFA ’98.

Montillo’s book about author Mary Shelley and the creation of her 1818 novel Frankenstein has been positively reviewed in publications such as the New York Times and Publishers Weekly.



Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein

According to Montillo, the production company Thunder Road Films, which was behind Ben Affleck’s hit film The Town, has purchased the rights to her story to begin producing a movie within the next 18 months. However, that doesn’t mean a movie is definitely going to be made.

“They own the production for the next 18 months, and they have the option to go forward to find actors, the finances, [etc.],” Montillo said. “It’s unexpected and exciting, but I’m trying not to be too excited about it because I’m not sure if it’s ever going to be. My mother keeps telling me to just be optimistic,” she said.

The Lady and Her Monsters is a nonfiction book that looks at Shelley’s environment and life story as she wrote the legendary Frankenstein novel. Montillo says Shelley wrote the story at a time when doctors and scientists attempted to bring the dead back to life, particularly in parts of Europe, by electroshocking corpses using crude methods.

Montillo teaches two courses through Emerson’s Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, one of which, Forbidden Knowledge, is offered this semester. The class delves into how people attained knowledge on hot-button religious, scientific, sexual, and personal issues throughout the last few centuries. She also teaches a course called Love and Eroticism, which examines the history of love and sex in society for the last 200 years.

Montillo is working on another nonfiction book about Jesse Pomeroy, who became America’s first documented juvenile serial killer at age 12 while living in Chelsea and South Boston, Massachusetts. 

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