Universal’s plan for an MCU-like ‘Dark Universe’ were quickly scuppered in 2017 when Tom Cruise‘s The Mummy performed atrociously at the box office. The studio had already lined up other big stars to play various monsters in the universe, including Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, and Javier Bardem. The thorough disappointment of The Mummy has meant plans have changed drastically.
Blumhouse Productions – having proven to be very successful in the horror genre – recently teamed up with Universal, and will produce a new Invisible Man movie. This is (currently) intended to be separate from any interconnected universe.
Depp is now out, and Elisabeth Moss is in final talks to play a lead role. It’s unclear if the studios intend to gender-flip the titular character, which would make the most sense, or go in a different direction.
Leigh Whannell (Upgrade) is writing and directing the project. It will likely follow Blumhouse’s model of being slightly lower budget despite being part of a major IP. That model has worked terrifically for them recently though, as seen by David Gordon Green‘s new Halloween sequel. Universal would love for a similar box office haul here.
Moss is one of our best contemporary actors, having excelled in both film and TV. She put in a towering performance in the sadly underseen Queen Of Earth a few years ago, before securing the coveted lead role on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
She already has an exciting 2019 lined up, as she will appear in Jordan Peele‘s Get Out follow up Us, and star in the rock drama Her Smell and the female-centric gangster film The Kitchen.
Assuming negotiations with Moss are finalised, attention will soon turn to the specifics of this new version of The Invisible Man. Whannell already delivered us a surprisingly inventive action film with Upgrade, so it’ll be interesting to see what he and Moss can create here.