Ryan Gosling's Wolfman Reboot Has Made A Big Behind-The-Scenes Change

Ryan Gosling's K in blade runner 2049
(Image credit: HBO Max)

As the classic horror cinema characters such as Frankenstein's monster and Dracula maintain their everlasting fandoms through celebrations such as Universal Studios' Halloween-themed events, Hollywood continues its attempts to reboots the stable of  monsters for modern audiences. Ryan Gosling's Wolfman reboot will follow in the spiritual footsteps of Leigh Whannel's 2020 hit The Invisible Man, and previously had Whannel tapped as both co-writer and director. That's not the case anymore, however, with Wolfman now being helmed by someone Gosling is quite familiar with.

It looks like Wolfman will be another reteaming for Ryan Gosling and the Oscar-nominated writer/director Derek Cianfrance, according to Deadline. A filmmaker most definitely not known for getting behind the camera for big-budget studio far, or for any kind of fantastical storytelling in general, Cianfrance is perhaps best known for his two collaborations with Gosling: 2010’s Blue Valentine, which earned Michelle Williams an Oscar nom, and 2012’s The Place Beyond the Pines. He’s a storyteller who delves into personal traumas and situations that are indeed horrific, even if they don’t count as “horror.”

Which means that Derek Cianfrance’s take on Wolfman could completely revert the Universal Monster-verse into being something purely cinematic again, with The Invisible Man as the first successful step in that direction. One could only hope that Cianfrance and Ryan Gosling will avoid the missteps taken by Joe Johnston’s 2010 reboot with Benicio Del Toro, while really delivering on making the film’s characters feel as real and authentic as the emotionally wrought leads of Blue Valentine, Sound of Metal and Cianfrance’s more recent HBO limited series I Know This Much Is True. The latter earned Mark Ruffalo an Emmy win.

As it happens, Ryan Gosling was reportedly instrumental in bringing Derek Cianfrance on board the Universal and Blumhouse project. The two apparently share project pitches on occasion, and it’s stated that once Leigh Whannel exited Wolfman earlier in 2021 over scheduling concerns, Gosling reached out to Cianfrance to lay out his vision for what the film should be, which convinced the writer/director to sign on. Considering Cianfrance hasn’t directed a film since 2016’s The Light Between Oceans, this would be one hell of a return project. 

Here’s what Derek Cianfrance had to say in reacting to the news:

Horror movies were my first love – my entry into what cinema was capable of narratively, psychologically and aesthetically. Coupled with the opportunity to collaborate with Ryan again, this is truly a dream come true. I’m thrilled and inspired to work with the good folks at Blumhouse and Universal to bring this monster back to life in our collective unconscious.

Even beyond the pathos that he’ll bring to the project, horror fans should definitely keep in mind that Cianfrance projects also boast stellar casts. So if he brings in other repeat performers like Ryan Gosling, Wolfman could feature such stars as Rachel Weisz, Michael Fassbender, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn and more. Or, you know, none of those people and a bunch of other great actors.

Hopefully this movie remains high on the list of upcoming Ryan Gosling projects, as there are never too many franchises in horror cinema. While waiting for more updates, check out all the other upcoming horror movies on the way!

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.