Johnny Depp has signed on to play ‘The Invisible Man’ as part of Universal’s new initiative to reboot their classic horror monsters in new films set within a shared universe. (Although, looking back, the Universal Monsters might be the first example of a shared universe, as they often crossed paths in various films including ‘Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein’.)
Universal has scored two major coups with casting its first two movies. Depp’s follows that of Tom Cruise who is slated to star in ‘The Mummy’ which will be directed by Alex Kurtzman and already has a release date of June 9, 2017. Kurtzman and Chris Morgan will produce both movies. No further information was given regarding ‘The Invisible Man’.
The original ‘The Invisible Man’ movie was based on H.G. Wells’ classic novel and was directed by James Whale, who also directed Universal’s ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’. The film starred Claude Rains in the title role as a scientist who invents a serum that turns him invisible, but drives him insane.
From the Universal library, ‘The Mummy’ may be the most viable, having been the subject of two (sort of) recent franchises ‘The Mummy’, ‘The Mummy Returns’ and ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ (1999-2008) and spinoff 2002’s ‘The Scorpion King’ which spawned three direct-to-video sequels.
Following ‘The Mummy’ and ‘The Invisible Man’, Universal is looking to reboot ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Dracula’, ‘The Wolf Man’, ‘The Creature From The Black Lagoon’ and ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’.
Depp excels at playing quirky characters and this should be right up his alley! Of the Universal Monsters, ‘The Invisible Man’ is actually one of the most flat-out evil. That should give the former ‘Sweeney Todd’ a chance to really sink his teeth in.
What is perhaps most intriguing however, is should this shared universe build up the way it seems Universal is hoping, does that mean we’ll be seeing Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp in a movie together? And will Universal continue casting these movies with major stars? How much would a movie cost to make when you have four or five actors in the same ballpark as Depp and Cruise?
What do you think? Are you intrigued by this star-studded new film lineup?