‘The Invisible Man’: Leigh Whannell to Direct Reboot as Universal Reworks Dark Universe

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures looking to rework their Dark Universe plans after the Tom Cruise-starring The Mummy and Dracula Untold failed to kick off the right momentum.

Aussie filmmaker Leigh Whannell, who broke out writing Saw with James Wan and went on to direct Insidious: Chapter 3 and last year’s sci-fi action film Upgrade, has been hired to direct and write a reboot of The Invisible Man. Also on board is hit producer Jason Blum (Get Out, Halloween, Upgrade), working through his Blumhouse banner.

Variety broke the news, reporting that Universal is reworking their strategy for their monsters properties, with a plan to line up “creative directors with distinctive visions.” The studio is apparently considering no longer crafting an interconnected universe and instead going ahead with filmmaker-driven individual projects. Even better news: there will be a focus on horror, plus no budget limits, ratings or universe-building rules dictating creative boundaries.

Johnny Depp had been attached to star in The Invisible Man reboot, but that is no longer the case. That being said, there is still a chance Depp could be attached to another of Universal’s monster projects, which also include The Wolfman and Frankenstein.

Apart from Depp and Cruise, Universal’s previous Dark Universe plans had also signed up Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe. The actors reportedly still have the option to stay attached to projects if they’re keen following each project’s creative development.

“Throughout cinematic history, Universal’s classic monsters have been reinvented through the prism of each new filmmaker who brought these characters to life,” Universal’s president of production Peter Cramer said in a statement provided to Variety. “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.”

At least from what’s been reported, it sounds like Universal has the right idea now. Fingers crossed. Stay switched on to Screen Realm as this unfolds…

Leigh Whannell directing ‘Upgrade’ | Universal Pictures