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Recently news had broken that actor Ryan Gosling was eager to join the Universal Monsters franchise of reboots, as he had landed the lead in the film Wolfman. Described as a “Network meets Nightcrawler” take on the classic story of 1941's The Wolf Man, the next big questions were who was going to write the script, and who could direct such a heady blend of classic horror and topical terror. Well, if recent updates are any indication, we might see horror mastermind Leigh Whannell stepping into the director’s chair for Wolfman.
Deadline caught the scent of news that the writer/director of this year’s horror hit The Invisible Man, as well as the Blumhouse Productions team that helped launch that very film, are currently negotiating their respective spots on Wolfman’s potential team of winners. Leigh Whannell is in talks to become the film’s director, as well as write the story treatment that writers Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo will craft the script around.
Strangely enough, Leigh Whannell was previously offered the director’s slot for Wolfman by Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum himself, and initially he turned the project down. Now, it looks like some new inspiration and/or information has changed his tune, and Leigh Whannell is closer to working with another historic Universal property in his uniquely modern sensibility. And it’s not hard to see why both Blum and Universal would want to get the Upgrade director back on board for some breaking news in the world of terror.
Even in a box office period that started just before the closure of all major movie theaters, The Invisible Man made a ton of money this past February, with about $125 million raked in against a $7 million production budget. While that’s not the total picture of how profitable the Elizabeth Moss starring reboot actually was, it’s enough of a window into how popular Leigh Whannell’s horror style is with audiences. So while we might not be seeing any new movies in theaters for the moment, there’s a potential for Universal to land themselves a firebrand of a hit when everything starts back up again.
Wolfman is equally exciting for the fact that Ryan Gosling isn’t exactly known for working in the horror genre. Which means that this idea hasn’t just piqued Leigh Whannell’s interests, but it’s also given Gosling’s mind something to chew over to his satisfaction. Now that is a Venn diagram I’d pay to see the contents of, and should Whannell’s negotiations are successful, we'll get to see those results for ourselves when Wolfman debuts in theaters.
Currently, there’s no plan for when Wolfman will go into production, nor is there a planned window of release for the Universal/Blumhouse Productions joint effort. But as soon as any new details break, you can be sure that CinemaBlend will be sharing those details as soon as they appear.