Any major studio without a superhero franchise is always looking for fresh IP to sell to audiences over many years and many films. Universal thought they had one with the Dark Universe back in 2017, but that crashed and burned upon take off after The Mummy’s poor performance both critically and financially. We’ll always have that iconic photo though of a bunch of movie stars posing for something that never came to fruition.
Cut to earlier this year when theaters were still open and The Invisible Man became a sleeper hit thanks to Elisabeth Moss’ performance and a relevant and grounded story about domestic abuse, gaslighting and misogyny. Not to mention director Leigh Whannell’s terrific and creative methods of directing set pieces on a limited budget.
On the heels of the movie’s success, thanks in large part to Blumhouse producing, Universal is now moving forward with another reboot of one of their most celebrated monsters, The Wolfman. Yesterday, Variety reported that Ryan Gosling will be playing the titular role and based on fan reaction, it’s the right choice.
Now, we’re getting a little more information about the tone of the film. Based on an original pitch by Gosling himself, it’s reportedly set in modern times (just like Invisible Man) and is similar to the Jake Gyllenhaal movie Nightcrawler, but with the obvious supernatural twist. The fact that Gosling is the one bringing this to Universal shows how much he believes in the script, too, which has already been written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebeca Angelo (Orange is the New Black).
Of course, Gosling is one of the rare young movie stars who’ve yet to play a superhero. He’s managed to avoid franchise films altogether for the most part, in fact, and has made a number of interesting choices throughout his career.
With The Invisible Man and The Wolfman, it sounds like Universal is really taking a serious look at the “psychology” of the characters first and surrounding that core with set pieces and drama. Overall, it sounds like a much better path than the effects-driven blockbuster route they tried with the aforementioned Tom Cruise movie and frankly, we can’t wait to see where their new takes on these beloved monsters go from here.