Even though it’s only been several months since the release of “The Invisible Man,” director Leigh Whannell’s horror film is a huge hit and has pretty much laid out the blueprint for how to reinvent the Universal Monsters brand for the modern era. And now, it appears that Universal is ready to test that once again by allowing the filmmaker a chance to reinvent another monster with the studio’s upcoming “The Wolfman.”
According to Deadline, Leigh Whannell is in negotiations to direct “The Wolfman” for Universal, which already has Ryan Gosling attached to star. And joining Whannell in the party is none other than Blumhouse, which is a studio that has helped shepherd both of the filmmaker’s previous features, “Upgrade” and the aforementioned ‘Invisible Man.’
In addition to directing, it’s being reported that Whannell will write a new treatment for the film, based on his own idea and inspired by the classic Universal film of the same name released in 1941, which isn’t all that surprising given that he has written a number of features in the past, including his recent directorial efforts. However, he won’t fully script the film. Instead, that duty rests on the shoulders of Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, who previously worked on “Orange is the New Black.”
As the title suggests, “The Wolfman” follows the story of a man that turns into an anthropomorphic wolf and kills various folks. In the original film there is a heavy amount of magic and mysticism which leads to the transformation. However, it’s unclear if Whannell will bring a more modern, science-based bent to the story, considering the massive changes he made in the origins of the Invisible Man. Of course, we can probably also expect a fair amount of social commentary, which is something that was oozing out of every frame of his previous film.
We’ve heard Whannell and Blumhouse talk about the Universal Monsters films for quite a while now. Just recently, Jason Blum denied knowing anything about “The Wolfman” (obvious misdirection) but did confirm that his company is heading up Karyn Kusama’s upcoming “Dracula” reboot. It’s unclear if there is an overall plan to somehow link all these films together in the future, a la the Dark Universe concept that Universal attempted back in 2017. However, if Whannell and Kusama are able to do for “The Wolfman” and “Dracula,” respectively, what was done in “The Invisible Man,” Universal and Blumhouse could be looking at a pretty great franchise in the future.