Elisabeth Moss is in talks with Universal to assume the lead in the (what we assume will be retitled) update of ‘The Invisible Man’. Leigh Whannell will write and direct, under Jason Blum‘s low-budget Blumhouse banner. Johnny Depp was previously attached to star in the film, which was, at the time, intended to be a big-budget tentpole event, as part of Universal’s now-dead Dark Universe franchise. This picture will be the first in a new series of movies meant to reinvent Universal’s classic monsters for a modern generation. The talks between Moss and Universal are in the earliest stages, so obviously this isn’t yet a done deal.
Whannell previously worked with Blumhouse, directing ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ and ‘Upgrade’.
Moss will next be seen in another low-budget horror flick, Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’, as well as the horror-adjacent ‘Shirley’, in which she will play Shirley Jackson, the author of ‘The Haunting of Hill House’, which was turned into the hit Netflix miniseries last year. She also has the crime drama ‘The Kitchen’ due later this year, costarring Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish.
Of course, Moss is best known as the star of Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, for which she has won a Golden Globe and an Emmy. Before that, she starred on the Sundance crime drama ‘Top of the Lake’, and her big breakout came from playing Peggy Olsen on AMC’s ‘Mad Men’.
Universal has spent years trying to launch the Dark Universe, but after ‘Dracula Untold’ and ‘The Mummy’ both flopped (‘The Mummy’ in spectacular fashion), plans to approach these as large-budget spectacles with hefty names– like Depp, Tom Cruise, and Russell Crowe– attached were abandoned. Blum has built his career making low-budget horror flicks which make back many times their budget, expressed a desire to tackle these films using his more grassroots approach. ‘The Invisible Man’ (or whatever) will be the first. Whether or not there are more will depend on how well this does.
What do you think of Moss starring as… ‘The Invisible Woman’? Will that name be too confusing with the Marvel superhero of the same name?