After years of sub-par entries, most recently The Mummy reboot, Variety reports that Universal Pictures is reviving the Universal Monsters franchise by placing it in the very capable hands of Blumhouse, known for their major box office hits such as Split, The Purge, Paranormal Activity, and many others. The first of hopefully multiple projects will be The Invisible Man, which will be directed by Leigh Whannell, co-creator of the Saw and Insidious franchises as well as last year's fantastic sci-fi action flick Upgrade!
The move is part of a fresh strategy for Universal’s monsters properties, bringing creative directors with distinctive visions to the classic characters and moving on from the interconnected "Dark Universe" concept, the site adds.
Johnny Depp was previously attached to The Invisible Man, but he may be featured in another one of the monster movie projects in development, sources say. Sources tell the site he 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 does not that hiring Whannell does not necessarily mean The Invisible Man will be the next monster movie to go into production, as other pitches are also coming together revolving around different characters. Universal had planned The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Bride of Frankenstein reboots before giving "Dark Universe" the axe, but we're unsure if those films are still happening
The talent previously attached to various "Dark Universe" 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.
Stay tuned for more details on this exciting news as they develop!