invisible woman

Universal is moving full scream ahead with plans to revive their classic monsters. They have Leigh Whannell’s Invisible Man arriving next year and Dexter Fletcher’s Renfield in the works, and now they’re adding another project: Invisible Woman. Elizabeth Banks will direct and star in the film, which apparently won’t be connected to Whannell’s Invisible Man. Universal made an Invisible Woman movie released back in 1940, but the tone was comedic, whereas Banks’ project is said to be a full-on horror movie.

THR says Elizabeth Banks will star in and direct Invisible Woman for Universal. The tone of the film is being described as “Thelma and Louise meets American Psycho“, and that actually sounds kind of neat. It also sounds much different than the original Invisible Woman, which was a comedy about a mad scientist who turns a model invisible so she can get revenge against the boss that fired her. Along the way, she gets mixed up with some gangsters who want to exploit this whole invisibility thing to their benefit.

Erin Cressida Wilson, who wrote the not-so-great adaptation of The Girl on the Train and also the excellent Secretary, penned the most recent script for the new Invisible WomanI think Banks is quite a good actress with the right material, but her directorial efforts haven’t turned out so well. Still, it’s nice to see that she’s being handed another high-profile directing gig after the box office failure of her recent Charlie’s Angels reboot. Male directors get to move on to bigger things after failures in Hollywood all the time, so it’s only fair that a female director can do the same. Progress!

Invisible Woman joins a growing line-up of new titles inspired by the classic Universal Monsters. Leigh Whannell has Invisible Man arriving on February 28, 2020. Then there’s the Dracula spin-off Renfield coming from director Dexter Fletcher, and Paul Feig’s Dark Army. Universal previously attempted to revive their classic monsters with the Dark Universe – an endeavor that failed immediately with The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise.

Even though Invisible Woman presumably involves invisibility like Whannell’s Invisible Man, the films will apparently not be connected. As Variety reports, “Banks’ pitch is very different from the Invisible Man film coming out in February that stars Elisabeth Moss, and there is no crossover potential on either film.”

Having learned their lesson with the Dark Universe, Universal now wants “to creating compelling filmmaker-driven projects based on characters from the studio’s vast monsters legacy.” And “Instead of prescribing a mandated updating of these monster stories and making them all part of a larger scheme, the studio loosened these restrictions and open-sourced to filmmakers who were inspired to create their own unique stories.”

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