Universal is officially moving forward with their Wolfman reboot for their new monster universe, with Ryan Gosling starring as the title character.
- Universal is officially moving forward with their Wolfman reboot for their new monster universe, with Ryan Gosling starring as the title character. The studio previously tried to launch a cinematic Dark Universe with The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella, but the film did not do well with critics or at the box office. Deciding to focus instead on each singular film, Universal took a risk with Leigh Whannell's The Invisible Man, starring Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.The director and writer was previously known for his 2018 sci-fi horror hit, Upgrade.
Following Whannell's lead, there are a handful of other unique projects based on classic monster stories currently in development. Along with Wolfman, there's Elizabeth Banks' The Invisible Woman, a movie focused on Dracula's henchman Renfield to be directed by Rocketman's Dexter Fletcher, and Paul Feig's Dark Army film. Each project is an original take on the well-known stories, and there will be no efforts to directly connect any of the films with the others, despite their similar themes and source material.
According to Variety, Universal is pushing for Wolfman to be their next film based on a classic monster. The movie's script is written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo (both wrote for Orange Is the New Black), based on an original pitch from Gosling. The story is rumored to maintain the supernatural elements of the source material but be set in the present time, and be similar in tone to the Jake Gyllenhaal-led film Nightcrawler. There was early consideration for Gosling to direct as well as star, but that has since been dismissed. Universal is closing in on a director and expected to announce someone soon. Cory Finley, director of Bad Education and Thoroughbreds, is said to be in the running.
The Invisible Man was co-produced with Blumhouse Productions, who have been churning out many horror hits over the past few years, like Whannell's Upgrade, Happy Death Day, and the Academy Award-winning Get Out. The 2020 film made at least 14 times its budget, proving that a successful monster universe can be built by allowing each film to be smart, subversive, and original. The film's success also led to Whannell signing a movie and TV deal with Blumhouse, and an Upgrade sequel TV series is in development.
Gosling has worked on very few genre films aside from Blade Runner 2049, so this is an interesting move for him as an actor. He is most known for his starring roles in films like Drive and The Notebook, as well as his continuing partnership with Damien Chazelle. Gosling starred in two of the director's films back-to-back, La La Land and First Man, the former of which earned him a Golden Globe and his second Academy Award nomination. Gosling is expected to star in an astronaut movie directed by Lord and Miller (The Lego Movie) next, as it's further along in development. Hopefully, Wolfman will be ready to begin production shortly after.