With Universal Pictures having given up on its proposed Dark Universe initiative in the wake of the failure of “The Mummy” reboot, it’s expected movies about their classic monsters will now be standalone fare (no shared universe) and handled on a case-by-case basis.
So came along horror producer Jason Blum and “Upgrade” writer/director Leigh Whannell who proposed to the studio a new incarnation of “The Invisible Man”. Speaking with Collider this week, Blum explained their take on the H.G. Wells story which will avoid the big-budget action trappings of the scuttled Dark Universe take in favor of a darker character thriller with more of a genuine horror tone:
“I don’t believe in saying ‘We’re going to do movies about this’ and then trying to find a movie about it. So, I didn’t believe in going and saying ‘I want to do all these movies’ and then try to find directors to do them. We have a director we’ve also done six or seven movies with, pitched us this spectacular idea about Invisible Man. We told him to write it, he wrote it, then we took it to the studio and said ‘We’d love to do this and this is what we would do with it’ and they said yes.
It was like the Blumhouse version of The Invisible Man, it’s a lower-budget movie. It’s not dependent on special effects, CGI, stunts. It’s super character-driven, it’s really compelling, it’s thrilling, it’s edgy, it feels new. Those were all things that felt like they fit with what our company does. And it happened to be an Invisible Man story, so it checked both boxes. And we responded to it because I think Leigh is just an A+ director.”
The property has been adapted for the screen several times, most notably James Whale’s 1933 film and the book accurate 1980s British TV mini-series adaptation.