Once upon a time not that long ago, Universal Pictures wanted to leverage its classic monsters to build out a cinematic universe. That idea proved dead on arrival with the release of Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, but while that failure killed the Dark Universe, it didn’t kill off all of Universal’s monster movies. The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss is still happening and to prove it, director Leigh Whannell has let everyone know filming has begun. Take a look:
The Invisible Man has officially commenced production in Australia. Leigh Whannell apparently couldn’t find anything to do in Sydney (not the Opera House? The beach? Pub crawl? Nothing?) and decided that he might as well make a movie. All in all that seems like the right call, those tourist attractions will only cost money and he can check them out after The Invisible Man wraps. Leigh Whannell commemorated the moment on Twitter with an image of the slate before the first take.
There’s not too much we can discern about the movie from this image, basically nothing really. Though, one person on Twitter did ask if it was the Invisible Man sitting in that empty car seat that is removed from a car and sitting on the grass and Leigh Whannell jokingly responded, “Yes.” That’s the thing about the Invisible Man, he could be anywhere, he’s invisible!
Once set to star Johnny Depp as part of Warner Bros. star-studded and ill-fated Dark Universe, The Invisible Man now stars Elisabeth Moss. We don’t know much about her character as of yet but although The Handmaid’s Tale actress is taking over for Johnny Depp as the lead, she is not playing the titular Invisible Man. That distinction goes to Oliver Jackson-Cohen.
Oliver Jackson-Cohen’s work is primarily in the TV realm but he is no stranger to horror, or even to the characters that makeup the Universal Monsters. He has starred in series like Dracula and Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. The cast is rounded out with What Men Want’s Aldis Hodge and A Wrinkle in Time’s Storm Reid.
After the failure of The Mummy you might think that Universal would give up on making its monster movies happen. But instead Universal is putting its head down and charging ahead and Leigh Whannell’s announcement about The Invisible Man is proof of that. It’s a cool thing too because rather than force all of these monsters into an action franchise as if they were superheroes, where all the films have to be similar tonally, now they can get creative.
Leigh Whannell really showed what he could do to put a unique spin on an existing premise with last year’s Upgrade and Universal has emphasized wanting filmmaker-driven projects with its monster movies. It will be exciting to see what Whannell does with that freedom as the writer and director of The Invisible Man and how he brings H.G. Wells' character into the modern era.
With The Invisible Man now in production, we fortunately won’t have to wait too long to see it in theaters. The Invisible Man is scheduled to open on March 13, 2020. For movies still to come this year, check out our premiere guide.