One of the most-exploited pulp characters in film history is the Invisible Man, inspired by an 1897 story penned by H.G. Wells. The 1933 The Invisible Man directed by James Whale and starring Claude Rains remains the most enduring screen vision of the character, but there are dozens of other films that either adapt Wells’ story or are heavily inspired by it.

The next might be from the pen of David Goyer (Man of Steel, plus the Blade and Christopher Nolan Batman films) who announced his version in 2007. He now says his script is inspired by the pulpy action/comedy tone of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.

Goyer tells the LA Times,

It’s a period film but it’s period like Downey’s ’Sherlock Holmes.’ It’s period but  it’s a reinvention of the character in the sort of way that Stephen Sommers exploded ‘The Mummy’ into a much bigger kind of mythology. That’s kind of what we’ve done with ‘The Invisible Man.’

So is the Sherlock Holmes comparison thanks to a rewrite, or is that just the current shorthand for describing any period film that also has some genre and action/comedy leanings? Those with exceptional memories for conversations about the Universal Monsters stable might remember that the writer/director said of the film in 2008,

My take is kind of an extrapolation [of the '33 film]. It actually deals with a nephew of the first character. It’s got some of the characters from the H.G. Wells book, but it’s kind of a continuation. [...] It kind of crosses a lot of genres. It’s very steam punk.

As for the story specifics, it’s easy to see howthe Sherlock Holmes comparison might be applied:

The Invisible Man centers on a British nephew of the original Invisible Man. Once he discovers his uncle’s formula for achieving invisibility, he is recruited by British intelligence agency MI5 during WWII.

[Header image is a crop of Kevin Tong's Invisible Man poster recently released through Mondo.]

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