Once, there were grand plans for a Dark Universe at Universal. The studio owns the rights to several classic movie monsters, and they wanted Tom Cruise’s THE MUMMY to launch a series of films that would include such actors as Russell Crowe and Javier Bardem. The studio even tapped Johnny Depp to play an updated version of The Invisible Man.
But those plans faded away.
That doesn't mean that the studio gave up on the concept of a world shaped by vintage movie monsters. In fact, instead, the studio has leaned on its partnership with Blumhouse to create stripped down, leaner and meaner entries in the movie-monster series, and they are starting up again with THE INVISIBLE MAN… starring an incredible woman.
Elisabeth Moss (US, "The Handmaid’s Tale") is joining forces with writer-director Leigh Whannell (UPGRADE) for a contemporary spin on THE INVISIBLE MAN story. Hollywood has been telling the tale of an invisible man for decades, but rarely have we seen it play out as a domestic disturbance/horror slasher.
Moss’ character, Cecilia, has been suffering abuse at the hands of her ex for far too long. She decides to leave him in the dead of night, but learns days later that he committed suicide. Cecilia doesn’t really believe that her ex would take his own life, and she becomes convinced that this power-made doctor has unearthed the secret for invisibility.
What follows is pure horror, as Cecilia tries to put her life back together, even as her sanity melts away. And this is a shift away from the tone of THE MUMMY, which had scary elements, but was closer to a Tom Cruise action-adventure than THE INVISIBLE MAN looks to be.
See for yourself, now that the new trailer is up:
Also, what looks different (and better) in this upcoming movie is that it’s focused on one story, and is not caught up in trying to set up a foundation on which to build many stories. If you recall, THE MUMMY introduced Prodigium, a large organization that tracks the activity of classic monsters. They would have been the connective thread that tied a few films together. But Leigh Whannell gets to tell a good story here, without worrying about where the story could go afterwards.
What do you think about this new approach to the monster universe at Universal and Blumhouse? We’ll see what happens with Elisabeth Moss and her INVISIBLE MAN when the movie opens in theatres on February 28, 2020.