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While the previous attempt at reviving the Universal Monsters line of films had resulted in the disaster known as the Dark Universe, that hadn’t stopped the studio from trying to take another stab into the darkness of its past catalog. Luckily, the Leigh Whanell written/directed version of The Invisible Man turned out to be a wild success, inspiring the studio to course correct with individual experiences. All of this has led to a new prospect involving Ryan Gosling and the resurrection of The Wolfman.
Ryan Gosling was announced as joining the new film, simply titled Wolfman, through a report courtesy of Variety. No director or producer has been selected for the project just yet, which is a concern that came after Gosling was previously considered as a candidate for being both star and helmer of the project.
However, a co-writer has been named, as Lauren Schuker Blum, the wife of Blumhouse Productions' Jason Blum, is mentioned in a further burst of information that came from THR’s Borys Kit. He chimed in with this detail, as well as the following story notes, via his Twitter feed:
Gosling would play an anchorman who gets infected in what has been described as having a Network/Nightcrawler vibe.
Of course, invoking the names of both those media savvy films has the connotation that Wolfman might see Ryan Gosling’s news anchor committing heinous crimes, either by accident or on purpose, and ultimately reporting them on the air in his more humane persona.
The logline for Wolfman also brings to mind two werewolf classics: the investigative journalism thriller Wolfen, and, of course, Joe Dante’s legendary lycanthropic classic The Howling. Both released in 1981, these stories followed reporters who came a little close to the world of the lunarly afflicted than most would want.
Mash it all together, and much like The Invisible Man, Universal may have a uniquely modern spin on this well-worn classic. Most notably played by Universal Monsters legend Lon Chaney Jr. in 1941’s The Wolf Man, this project would be the first time Universal has fully revisited the character since 2010’s The Wolfman.
Wolfman isn’t the first time Universal has tried to bring the character into the Dark Universe. Previously, Dwayne Johnson was rumored to be playing a new version of The Wolf Man in the universe that was also trying to bring Johnny Depp in as its own Invisible Man and Javier Bardem as the new Dr. Frankenstein.
Those names should serve as a reminder that while Ryan Gosling is pretty attached to the Wolfman brand right now, it’s best not to get one’s hopes up until a finished film is delivered. The last time Gosling was in talks for a promising horror project, it happened to be Guillermo del Toro’s remake of Disney’s The Haunted Mansion. Which, as you’ll remember, still hasn’t happened.
Still, optimism abounds at Universal, as Wolfman sounds ready to join the more modern universe of horror the Universal Monsters should continue to invade. As soon as new details are provided, we’ll update you, the reader, as they break.