Ryan Gosling‘s Wolfman movie has found a new director. Leigh Whannell (The Invisible Man) was originally tapped to helm the project, but he’s been replaced by Derek Cianfrance, who previously worked with Gosling on Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond The Pines.
Cianfrance will both write and direct, although according to Deadline, the core premise will remain the same.
Gosling himself reportedly approached Cianfrance about his pitch in the wake of Whannell’s departure, and won him over. Cianfrance recently wrote and directed all six episodes of I Know This Much Is True, and gained an Academy Award nomination for his Sound Of Metal script, but he hasn’t made a horror movie in his career. But he said in a statement:
“Horror movies were my first love, my entry into what cinema was capable of narratively, psychologically and aesthetically. Coupled with the opportunity to collaborate with Ryan again, this is truly a dream come true. I’m thrilled and inspired to work with the good folks at Blumhouse and Universal to bring this monster back to life in our collective unconscious.”
It’s unclear exactly what the new Wolfman movie will look like, but it’s believed to be a modern take and not a period piece like the previous one starring Benicio Del Toro. Universal had originally planned on using its catalogue of monster IP to create the interconnected Dark Universe, but Tom Cruise‘s The Mummy completely backfired, and the studio shifted their focus.
Whannell’s The Invisible Man – which used the classic story as a framework for a contemporary horror movie about abuse – signaled a much better strategy, allowing filmmakers to rework classics and fill the films with their own ideas instead of just basic remakes.
It will be exciting to see what Cianfrance can do in a genre we’ve yet to see him in. His prior work and strong relationship with Gosling suggests something great could be on the horizon. Gosling will also produce the film alongside Ken Kao and Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum. The film doesn’t have a release date yet.