wolfman reboot director

Having already proven he has the goods to bring a new twist to classic Universal Monsters with The Invisible Man, Leigh Whannell is now in negotiations to helm The Wolfman. Ryan Gosling is set to star in the horror pic, which was previously reported as being partially inspired by Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. That might be changing, though, as Whannell is also going to be writing a treatment for the film based on his own idea. Joining Whannell on the project is Blumhouse, with whom Whannell has a first-look deal.

Deadline has the scoop about Leigh Whannell directing The Wolfman for Universal. Blumhouse, who produced Whannell’s Upgrade and The Invisible Man, has also come on board to produce the film along with star Ryan Gosling. Per the report, Whannell was hesitant to direct the film at first, but eventually came around. He will also write a treatment based on his own idea.

When news of the reboot first broke, it was revealed that Gosling was considering directing the film as well as starring in it. It was also said that the film was “believed to be set in present times and in the vein of Jake Gyllenhaal’s thriller Nightcrawler, with an obvious supernatural twist,” and that Gosling played a part in coming up with the film’s story. Whether or not Gosling’s ideas will remain, or if Whannell will come up with something completely different, is unclear.

The Wolfman is just the latest attempt to revive the classic Universal Monsters. Universal infamously tried to launch their own cinematic universe with The Mummy in 2017, a film that was meant to kick-off the Dark Universe. After that film failed, however, Universal went back to the drawing board. Since then, the studio has decided to let visionary filmmakers come in and craft standalone tales rather than worry about a cinematic universe. The first of these was Whannell’s The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss, which was released earlier this year. The horror-thriller was a critical and commercial success. Other upcoming Universal Monster films in the works include Paul Feig’s Dark Army, Dexter Fletcher’s Renfield, Elizabeth Banks’ Invisible Woman, Matt Stawski’s The Monster Mash, and Karyn Kusama’s Dracula.

Universal’s first attempt at a werewolf story was 1935’s Werewolf of London, but the wolf title they’re most known for is s 1941’s The Wolf Man, starring Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot, the son of a nobleman who returns home after his brother is killed. One night, Talbot is attacked by a werewolf and is cursed to become a werewolf himself as a result. That was followed by 1946’s She-Wolf of London. Universal previously attempted to revive the story with 2010’s The Wolfman, directed by Joe Johnston and starring Benicio del Toro. That film had great production design, but not much else, and was ultimately considered a failure.

I’m a big fan of Whannell’s work, the Universal Monsters, and Gosling, so this news is doubly exciting to me. I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.

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