Jason Blum discusses taking on The Invisible Man with Leigh Whannell

The Invisible Man

I actually get some entertainment out of watching the 2017 version of THE MUMMY and find it to be a fine, middle-of-the-road movie. Not awesome, not awful. It's still baffling to me that it can be considered a financial failure, since it made over $409 million at the global box office. When your mummy movie needs to make more than $409 million to be a success, you have made some very serious mistakes in the budgeting department.

As everyone knows, THE MUMMY was supposed to be the first installment in a cinematic universe that would see Universal's classic monsters being revived in modern day and being investigated by an organization called Prodigium. Universal has had to do some serious re-thinking of their approach to this "Dark Universe" since THE MUMMY failed to make more than $409 million in theatres, and the first film to result from the new approach is a version of THE INVISIBLE MAN that will be written and directed by Leigh Whannell, is being produced by Blumhouse Productions, and will not star Johnny Depp, as originally intended.

In an interview with Collider, producer Jason Blum explained how the situation of Blumhouse taking over this Dark Universe project came about: 

We have a director who… we’ve also done six or seven movies with, pitched us this spectacular idea about Invisible Man. We told him to write it, he wrote it, then we took it to the studio and said ‘We’d love to do this and this is what we would do with it,’ and they said yes."

That simple. This take on THE INVISIBLE MAN will not have to be a blockbuster to be a success, either. Blum said he doesn't think the budget will go over $10 million, and Whannell's pitch appealed to him because it's

a lower-budget movie. It’s not dependent on special effects, CGI, stunts. It’s super character-driven, it’s really compelling, it’s thrilling, it’s edgy, it feels new."

So now that Universal has Blumhouse reviving one of their old school monsters and madmen, is there a chance the company might handle more Dark Universe projects? Nothing is certain just yet, but there is a hopeful sign in the fact that Blumhouse has access to the scripts that were written for other Dark Universe reboots and they have even read some of them already. Blum told CinePop, 

...we’ve looked at a couple older scripts and we would be open to doing that (producing more Dark Universe films)."

I don't care what the budgets are, I just want to see Universal's classic monsters back on the big screen - and if we get a monster mash crossover like HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN or HOUSE OF DRACULA down the line after they've all been revived, that's all the better.

One Dark Universe project I really want to see happen is director Bill Condon's BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, which was supposed to be the second film in the franchise - in fact, it was supposed to be coming out tomorrow. Universal had announced a February 14, 2019 theatrical release date for it, but then put the project on hold after THE MUMMY "under-performed". The director of GODS AND MONSTERS taking the helm of a new version of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN felt like the perfect match of filmmaker and material to me. So I hope Condon will get to make that one of these days.

In the meantime, we'll be keeping a close eye on the progress of Blumhouse and Whannell's THE INVISIBLE MAN.

Source: Collider



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