Warning: SPOILERS for The Invisible Man are in play. If you haven’t seen this weekend’s big horror hit, turn back and return once you’ve caught up.
Contrary to the very nature of the sinister villain at the heart of writer/director Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man, it’s not hard to see that this film is one of 2020’s early breakout hits. This is a pretty interesting prospect, as it looks like Universal’s once defunct canon of Universal Monsters has finally found its footing at the box office. Which leads me to believe that Elizabeth Banks’ proposed Invisible Woman project should undergo some changes to be directly tied to the trajectory of this potential franchise starter.
At the moment, Elizabeth Banks’ film is supposed to be its own thing, in everything from tone to her slated spot in the starring role. What I’m about to discuss isn’t suggesting that this project be cancelled, but rather that it be reworked in these early stages into a sequel that can capitalize on both The Invisible Man’s success and a potential Invisible Woman project that takes that foundation and builds on it.
If you have not yet seen The Invisible Man, this is your last call to leave, as everything below is speculation that’s built off that film’s ending, as well as what we know about The Invisible Woman so far. Those of you who haven’t disappeared are now cleared to see what the future could reveal for this potential franchise.
The Invisible Man Leaves A Lot Of Room For A Sequel
At the end of The Invisible Man, Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss) has not only killed her abusive boyfriend, the previously “deceased” Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), she’s also made off with her own invisibility suit. If our now emboldened protagonist had just done the deed and either left the suit behind in his house or destroyed it on camera, we could have left the story at that moment as a cathartic resolution for Cecilia’s previous trauma.
However, the lack of either of those scenarios leaves a very wide door open for Elizabeth Moss’ character to become her own sort of avenging angel for those who are abused in a similar manner. Now that she’s gotten a taste of the invisible life, free of incrimination and accountability, there’s no telling what sort of antics she could get into, and that means there’s fertile ground for a sequel.
The Success Of The Invisible Man Probably Has Universal Ready For That Sequel
Establishing that The Invisible Man has a good foundation for future adventures to be built off of is a very important step, as a sequel shouldn’t be entered into without a solid plan. And let’s face it, Universal and Blumhouse are probably so jazzed that their $7 million movie has generated this good of a return investment that they want to see another one on the tracks as soon as possible.
So rather than pressure Leigh Whannell for a film that, frankly, he doesn’t seem ready to dream up at this point, Elizabeth Banks’ The Invisible Woman presents the potential for Universal to keep the party going without pressure on Whannell to perform. As the man has expressed reticence to revisit previous successes, such as Saw and Upgrade, it’s probably not a good idea to press him for the next chapter. And as a bonus, that would ensure that Banks’ film would have a better chance of materializing, as it would be continuing what’s been established.
Elizabeth Banks’ Pitch For The Invisible Woman Isn’t Too Far Off From That Potential Sequel
While it’s been suggested that Elizabeth Banks’ The Invisible Woman is going to have a different tone and be totally independent from The Invisible Man, it doesn’t actually sound all that different from where the film suggests Elizabeth Moss’ Cecilia is headed. The film is being reported as “Thelma & Louise meets American Psycho,” and if that isn’t the sort of personality that Cecilia’s actions at the end of The Invisible Man are suggesting, then maybe I saw a different movie.
Now that she’s gotten away with murdering her abusive boyfriend and has acquired her own invisibility suit, there’s no telling what Elizabeth Moss’s protagonist will be getting into. Odds are, it’s probably something along the lines of that simple statement above, so tying that thread to the continued misadventures of Cecilia is not only good for brand recognition, it’s also on a pretty similar path to what Elizabeth Banks’ take with writer Erin Cressida Wilson is aiming for.
Fans Of The Invisible Man Are Going To Want To See More Of Elizabeth Moss’ Cecilia
Another big difference between this potential Invisible Man sequel and the in-progress work on The Invisible Woman’s story is that in Elizabeth Banks’ current plans for her project, she’s going to have the starring role. Once again, both of these worlds have offered themselves to a perfect crossroads, as the invocation of Thelma & Louise adds another interesting twist to this tale.
Rather than merely have The Invisible Woman focus on one potential protagonist or the other, this new film could take a similar approach to how The Invisible Man had Adrian and his brother Tom switching off their nefarious duties in the invisibility suit. Cecilia and this unnamed newcomer could pul their own similar con, allowing them to pair up against abusive parties that operate with presumed protection, and eliminate them in a dark comedy of revenge and sisterhood.
Audience Confusion Would Be Eliminated With This Invisible Woman Rewrite
Even from the moment that The Invisible Woman was announced, there was extra care taken to make sure that people who were reading the news understood that this was to be independent from whatever trajectory The Invisible Man is going to take. However, the success of the recently released film and the potential for a follow-up do feel like they’d only further convince potential audiences when it comes to what’s actually going on.
Merging a potential sequel to The Invisible Man into the existing, but complimentary framework of The Invisible Woman serves as a potential end to that sort of confusion. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity for two massive talents to combine their efforts into a movie that could stand to be one of the major event releases for whenever it’s slated.
While it may not be the rom-com that people want to see Elisabeth Moss take on after an extensive history of dour and harrowing roles, and it could be different from Elizabeth Banks’ vision for The Invisible Woman, this is a project that has an undeniable edge. It offers Universal a chance to not only further shore up its newfound success in the Monsters canon, but it also provides even stronger branding potential with the power of these two women, rather than just relying on one.
A lot of things could happen between now and whenever any further movement is seen pertaining to either an Invisible Man sequel or The Invisible Woman, so this is all just a pipe dream at this point. But try seeing Leigh Whannell’s chilling thriller in theaters now, and not walking away with the same sort of potential on your mind.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.