After the disastrous reboot of The Mummy, Variety reports that Universal Pictures is recalibrating the Universal Monsters franchise by handing the keys to Blumhouse, known for budget-friendly hits such as The Purge, Happy Death Day, Split, Glass, Paranormal Activity and many others. The first of what could be many projects will be The Invisible Man, which will be helmed by horror veteran Leigh Whannell, co-creator of both the Saw and Insidious franchises, and director of last year’s excellent Upgrade as well as Blumhouse’s Insidious: Chapter 3.
The move is part of a fresh strategy for the Universal monsters properties, bringing creative directors with distinctive visions to the classic characters, adds the site.
Johnny Depp was previously attached to The Invisible Man, but he will not appear in this film. Sources tell the mag that he still may be featured in another one of the monster movie projects in development.
“Throughout cinematic history, Universal’s classic monsters have been reinvented through the prism of each new filmmaker who brought these characters to life,” said Peter Cramer, Universal’s president of production. “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.”
The site also notes that the hiring Whannell does not necessarily mean this will be the next monster movie to go into production, as other pitches are also coming together revolving around different characters. Before the plug was pulled on the “Dark Universe”, Universal had planned reboots of The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Bride of Frankenstein, among others. It’s unclear if they’ll re-reboot Dracula, The Wolfman or even The Mummy.
The talent previously attached to various monster roles like Depp, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, and Russell Crowe still have the option to appear in the movies after a filmmaker with a new vision is brought on.