The upcoming Wolfman remake starring Ryan Gosling has found its director. Leigh Whannell, writer and director of this year’s The Invisible Man, is currently negotiating to direct. Deadline reports that Whannell is still in talks with Universal. However, it sounds like the deal is all but done.
Whannell will also write the treatment, which is based on his original idea and inspired by the 1941 original film. Jason Blum’s Blumhouse will produce alongside Gosling. Lauren Shuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo will pen the script. The two previously worked together as writers on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
Reports of Gosling’s casting began to surface in late May. Deadline states that Gosling and Whannell have wanted to work together for some time. But Whannell was hesitant to take on the Wolfman reboot until Jason Blum asked him to reconsider.
Whannell’s Track Record
Another collaboration between Whannell, Blumhouse, and Universal isn’t too surprising. The Invisible Man only had a budget of $7 million, yet it brought in around $124 million worldwide. It’s also one of the best-reviewed movies of the year. In comparison, Universal’s rushed attempt at a shared monster universe, The Mummy, was panned by critics and killed the Dark Universe concept immediately. If all goes well, the Wolfman will be another successful transition of a classic movie monster to the modern age.
Whannell has been working in Horror for most of his career, beginning with the original Saw, which he co-wrote and starred in. Before Wolfman, Whannell partnered with Blumhouse on seven projects. These include 2018’s Upgrade and the Insidious franchise. In February, Whannell signed a first-look deal with Blumhouse where he can choose between film and TV projects he wants to write, direct, or produce.
Universal has seemingly learned from its mistakes. The studio shelved many star-attached projects after the failure of The Mummy. It is now only moving forward with projects after signing established creatives. Upcoming projects include Karyn Kusama’s Dracula and Dexter Fletcher’s Renfield.