“Poor Things,” a 2023 black comedy fantasy film written and directed by Tony McNamara and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, has captured fans’ attention. With Emma Stone as the mysterious Bella Baxter and Willem Dafoe playing Dr. Godwin Baxter, the scientist, the film looks to be a delightful mix of fantasy, humor, and social critique. It follows Bella Baxter as she reinvents herself and travels through a world made of broken pieces, both literally and figuratively. Dr. Baxter is very important because he is the scientist who brings the main character, Bella Baxter, back to life strangely and fantastically. People often find it interesting to think about whether Willem Dafoe’s character, Dr. Godwin Baxter, is based on a real person. Tvacute looks at these well-known figures portrayed in the show.
In Poor Things (2023), is Dr. Godwin Baxter based on a real person?
The role of Dr. Godwin Baxter, played by Willem Dafoe in “Poor Things” (2023), is not based on a real person. Dr. Baxter is a figure that Alasdair Gray made up in his 1992 book of the same name, which is where the movie gets its ideas. Gray’s story is one of a kind because it combines science fiction, gothic literature, and social criticism.
Reading “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” by Mary Shelley is a must if you want to know where “Poor Things” came from. Shelley’s book, which came out in 1818, is about a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein who does some strange experiments to make a living creature. Some people think of “Frankenstein” as the first true science-fiction story, even though it has gothic and romantic parts.
Gray cleverly weaves a female story into “Poor Things,” making connections to Shelley’s writing along the way. Frankenstein’s monster learns by watching others, but Bella, who was brought back to life by Dr. Baxter, actively takes part in her learning. Gray’s book takes the themes of science fiction and makes them more complicated by looking at life, learning, and what people expect from each other.
The director of “Poor Things,” Yorgos Lanthimos, started the process of turning Gray’s book into a movie. Lanthimos read “Poor Things” years before he made the movie. He even met Alasdair Gray in Scotland to buy the rights to the story. Even though Gray had died, Lanthimos stayed true to the author’s vision, giving the movie the same level of depth and beautifully unreliable storytelling as the book.
Willem Dafoe, who plays Dr. Godwin Baxter, did a lot for the part. As part of their training, both Dafoe and Ramy Youssef, who plays Max McCandles, went to school to learn how to be mortician. Dafoe’s performance as Baxter, who is very logical and a child of the Enlightenment’s search for truth, is filled with fierce kindness. He spent six hours a day in the makeup area getting a lot of prosthetics to make him look like the character.
Even though Dr. Godwin Baxter isn’t based on a real person, he is a big part of the imaginative and thought-provoking world that Alasdair Gray created and that the directors brought to life. Dr. Baxter’s role is both silly and complicated, which adds to the movie’s study of social norms, personal freedom, and the limits of science fiction.