Following the underwhelming box office take for its lame reboot of The Mummy, Universal’s ambitious plans for the Dark Universe–interconnected reboots of its classic monsters properties–imploded. It was clear that audiences weren’t interested in the Monster Cinematic Universe, no matter how much the studio paid for Tom Cruise’s cooperation. But last month it was reported that Blumhouse Productions and Universal are backing a new take on The Invisible Man from Upgrade filmmaker Leigh Whannell, suggesting that perhaps the Dark Universe isn’t entirely dead just yet... but it’s not quite undead, either.
Speaking with Collider, Blumhouse chief Jason Blum explains that he’s not counting his franchise chickens before they’ve hatched:
I didn’t believe in going and saying ‘I want to do all these movies’, and then try to find directors to do them. We have a director who… we’ve also done six or seven movies with, pitched us this spectacular idea about Invisible Man. We told him to write it, he wrote it, then we took it to the studio and said ‘We’d love to do this and this is what we would do with it,’ and they said yes.
And while Johnny Depp and his accessory collection were once attached to play the title role, Blum says that the new Invisible Man is not a mega-budget blockbuster. “It’s not dependent on special effects, CGI, stunts,” Blum said. “It’s super character-driven, it’s really compelling, it’s thrilling, it’s edgy, it feels new.” Should Whannell’s take on The Invisible Man prove successful, Blum might tackle some other properties and, he says, he’s “open” to revisiting the pre-existing monster movie reboots. In fact, Blum reveals that he’s already “looked at a couple of older scripts.” Long live the Dark Universe, hail Satan, etc.