How Lisa Frankenstein’s Director Paid Tribute to Robin Williams With Sitcom Callback


  • Lisa Frankenstein is a blend of horror, comedy, and romance, and screenwriter Diablo Cody has discussed possible connections with Jennifer’s Body.
  • Zelda Williams pays homage to her late father Robin Williams in the film, with a subtle reference to his character Mork from Ork.
  • Williams transitioned from acting to directing due to insecurities about living up to her father’s legacy, but she finds humor in darkness and aims to make things lighter for viewers.

Frankenstein gets an ‘80s comedy makeover with Zelda Williams’ debut directorial film, Lisa Frankenstein, and she made sure that she paid homage to one of the greatest comedy icons of the decade; her late father Robin Williams.

The movie is described as a blend of horror, comedy and romance, and the idea behind the film is one that has opened up many different avenues of conversation thanks to the involvement of screenwriter Diablo Cody, who has since discussed possible connections between the film and the Megan Fox vehicle Jennifer’s Body. However, when it comes to interviews with Williams, the one topic that is always going to come up is that of her father, Robin, and that happened again during a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Lisa Frankenstein

Lisa Frankenstein

Release Date
February 9, 2024

Zelda Williams

MXN Entertainment

Dig up someone special.

While talking about Lisa Frankenstein, Williams revealed that there is a subtle homage to Robin Williams featured in the movie when Creature, played by Cole Sprouse, is seen wearing a pair of rainbow suspenders, as similar to those worn by Robin during his time as space alien Mork from Ork in the sitcom Mork and Mindy.

Part of the reason for Williams spending a lot of time behind the scenes scriptwriting and now directing is all down to her insecurity over whether she could ever compete with her father’s legacy in front of it. She said:

“I started transitioning towards wanting to direct and wanting to leave behind acting around when Dad died. Being behind the camera became a much less self-conscious place than being in front of it. For some people, I reminded them of him and it made them sad. Or I was just never going to live up to him and it made them angry, or they didn’t believe I should be there. In either case, none of those things are about me. They shouldn’t concern me. But I’m human, and it was really tough.”



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Zelda Williams with dark bob haircut looking off camera

Williams also explained that when it comes to revisiting her father’s work, she doesn’t actively seek out to watch his old movies, but has seen some of them in the years since his passing. She said:

“Other people watch home movies. In my case, it’s seeking out an unreal version of him, and sometimes I can handle that and sometimes I can’t. But I really don’t judge myself for it anymore.”

When it comes to the unique dark comedy of Lisa Frankenstein, Williams suggests that much of her humor has developed from sad situations, and that is something that she has used to try and “make things lighter” for the people who watch the movie. She concluded:

“I think my sense of humor was shaped by a lot of trauma. I find a lot of humor in darkness, and I want to make things lighter for other people. Aspects of that definitely carry over into this movie. We spend do much time trying to make the way we navigate anything more palatable for others, especially women. Lisa gets to do the opposite in this.”

Lisa Frankenstein is released in theaters on February 9, 2024.

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