Well, this makes sense. Leigh Whannell found huge success earlier this year with The Invisible Man, which led to Universal greenlighting some more fresh takes on their classic monsters.
Karyn Kusama is making a new Dracula movie, for example, and it was reported last month that Ryan Gosling had signed on to star in a new Wolfman movie.
At the time, the studio was reportedly circling Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds, Bad Education) to helm the film, but that has now changed.
Although Finley would have been a good choice, the studio has not overthought this, and has entered talks with Whannell himself to direct the film. If you’re looking to emulate the success of The Invisible Man, why not hire the person who made it?
The Invisible Man made $124 million worldwide on just a $7 million budget, and Whannell already had a good relationship with Blumhouse prior to that too, having written for the Insidious franchise and also directed sci-fi passion project Upgrade, which is now getting a TV follow-up.
Wolfman is reportedly on the fast-track with Universal distributing and Blumhouse producing alongside Gosling. Whannell will also write the treatment for the film based on an original idea with Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo (Orange Is The New Black) writing the script.
Earlier reports suggested that the new Wolfman movie will be set in present day and feature a dark tone similar to the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller Nightcrawler and the classic 70s drama Network. Gosling will reportedly play an anchorman who gets infected, and may begin his transformation in front of news cameras.
This is obviously great news. It will be fascinating to see what Whannell and Gosling come up with, and it’s great that Universal is giving these projects to directors with vision like Whannell and Kusama; take existing IP and allow talented filmmakers to shape it into a fresh, contemporary films with only tangential links to the original character. A much preferable concept to remakes and belated sequels.