It wasn’t all that long ago Universal Pictures had designs on crafting a movie universe, revolving around the most iconic monsters in film history. They had roles filled for The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and The Invisible Man. They dubbed it their Dark Universe and it only lasted for one movie, The Mummy reboot, starring Tom Cruise. After the colossal disappointment, Universal went back to the drawing board and decided to turn to others to help salvage their monster movie aspirations. To start, they decided to turn to Jason Blum and Blumhouse Productions, who have recently seemed to master the art of horror films, to help create a well-produced reboot of The Invisible Man. With Blumhouse in the fold, they looked to find the director to bring the project to life. They brought in a talented director that Blumhouse happens to be very familiar with.
According to a report from Variety, Universal Pictures has hired Leigh Whannell to direct The Invisible Man film. Whannell is known for directing the hit Blumhouse films “Upgrade” and “Insidious: The Last Key“. He’s also set to co-produce The Invisible Man, as well.
Despite having these two figures on board, that doesn’t actually man that The Invisible Man will be the next film to go into production. There is still quite a lot of leg work to do until it’s even ready for that process. One of the items on their agenda will be to get a new star to play The Invisible Man. When they were building this interconnected universe, Universal had signed Johnny Depp to play the translucent character, but it’s being said by sources that he’s no longer in the plans for this film. Although, they didn’t rule out the idea of him or any of the other previously signed on actors to return in a different capacity. That includes Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, and Russell Crowe, along with Depp.
Removing the mandate for an interconnected universe has allowed them to turn to different sources for new ideas for their classic monsters. Their new direction is now to build monster films rooted in horror and without any restrictions, like an interconnected universe, budget, etc. That shows clear motivation and intent to do something profound with these iconic monsters.
“Throughout cinematic history, Universal’s classic monsters have been reinvented through the prism of each new filmmaker who brought these characters to life,” said Peter Cramer, Universal’s president of production. “We are excited to take a more individualized approach for their return to screen, shepherded by creators who have stories they are passionate to tell with them.”