Given the success so many modern horror movies are seeing under the banner of Blumhouse, Universal Pictures is next turning to the studio to revive their classic Universal Monsters franchise. A powerhouse in the horror genre, Blumhouse has achieved great success both critically and financially with their movies, which includes such titles as Halloween, The Purge, Split, Paranormal Activity, and many more. Best of all, Blumhouse has a penchant for producing quality movies while working on a minimal budget. These qualities may have been what attracted Universal to Blumhouse, giving them the green light to reboot The Invisible Man. According to a new report, this could be the first of a franchise featuring the Universal Monsters, with some of the most talented directors of today bringing their own unique visions to the projects.
Confirmed to direct the movie is horror filmmaker Leigh Whannell. Known for co-creating the Saw and Insidious horror franchises, Whannell particularly impressed critics with last year's Upgrade. Additionally, no cast or crew have been officially attached to the project yet, beyond the announcement of Whannell as the director. While actor Johnny Depp was previously attached to star in a previously-planned reboot for The Invisible Man, he will reportedly not be involved with this movie. It still remains possible he could appear in other upcoming Blumhouse movies set in the new Universal Monsters franchise. Other potential properties that could be included in the franchise are Dracula, The Wolfman, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and The Bride of Frankenstein.
In 2017, Universal released The Mummy, which was intended to be the start of a new Dark Universe franchise with their classic movie monsters. Directed by Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise, the movie had a very steep budget yet fell well short of studio expectations at the box office. To boot, the reviews from critics were almost universally negative, and the movie is sitting on a paltry 15% score on Rotten Tomatoes. With losses reaching almost $100 million, Universal halted plans to produce more Dark Universe movies, going back to the drawing board in concerns to the Universal Monsters' future. Now it seems their strategy is to go with a studio known for having budget-friendly horror movies which are very successful.
As part of this new vision, the upcoming movies starring the Universal Monsters are not mandated to share a universe. This will allow each filmmaker to stick to their own creative vision, without forcing the need to write in characters from other movies. It's also noted that while The Invisible Man is the first project to be given the green light, that doesn't mean it will be the first of these planned movies to hit the big screen. Universal is actively seeking out other directors to helm other properties featuring their legendary monsters, and other movies could potentially be announced very soon as well.
This is an interesting move for Universal, but one that will hopefully turn out well in the end. Whannell is a talented filmmaker and The Invisible Man is due for another movie adaptation, and the match seems to be a winning combination. More information should be made available over the coming weeks. You can read the original report over at Variety.