At the time of writing this, The Invisible Man is sitting on a box office tally of $104 million off of a budget of just $7 million. I believe the technical term for that level of box office success is “HOLY SHIT!”. After Universal’s Dark Universe plans completely imploded following the failure of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions have completely revitalised classic monster movies again with their take on the Universal property. And while Universal hasn’t quite said they want to try to build a cinematic universe again, Blumhouse is keeping itself firmly in the movie monster business as THR reports that the acclaimed horror production house is tackling a Dracula reboot next.
According to the reports, this upcoming film will be directed by Karyn Kusama and if that sentence doesn’t excite you, then you clearly haven’t seen Destroyer. Shame on you! I even went out of my way to tell you guys how awesome it is! Kusama will also be bringing on board her Destroyer writing team of Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay, who also worked with her on critically acclaimed independent horror The Invitation. The trio also worked together on 2005’s Æon Flux, but let’s just forget about that one for now. Everybody is allowed to make mistakes.
Kusama, Manfredi, and Hay’s take on Dracula will reportedly be a contemporary reboot set in modern times… and that’s all we know for now. That and the fact that Kusama is definitely capable of this film. On top of the aforementioned The Invitation, she also directed the cult-classic horror Jennifer’s Body from writer Diablo Cody. She’s also recently been directing episodes of HBO’s Stephen King adaptation The Outsider.
As for Dracula himself, with Bram Stoker’s classic vampire lord being in the public domain (i.e. nobody owns the rights to the character anymore), the film is not being set up at Universal as part of their new lineup of monster movies. Yet! With Blumhouse having a first-look deal in place with the big studio though, it’s a fair bet that it will eventually end up there. Don’t assume this and Invisible Man to be the start of Dark Universe 2.0 though. Universal is reportedly not interested in a shared cinematic universe, with a producer telling THR that “it’s a ‘best idea wins’ approach and they are having the filmmakers find the individual stories”.
One such filmmaker is James Wan – who actually kicked off his career with The Invisible Man’s Leigh Whannell with Saw and The Conjuring films for Blumhouse – who Universal has now also tapped to work on another mysterious horror-thriller project. That’s only one of the productions that Universal has lined up. Paul Feig is also working on a monster-crossover movie titled Dark Army, while Dexter Fletcher has been attached to another film focusing on Dracula henchmen Renfield. Last year we also heard that Elizabeth Banks is set to star, direct, and produce The Invisible Woman, which is not related to this year’s The Invisible Man despite the title. More recently, it was also announced that Amy Pascal was producing a new version of The Bride of Frankenstein with John Krasinski and Sam Raimi reportedly both having engaged with talks to take the director’s chair. Most surprisingly out of all these plans though, it was revealed last month that Grammy Award nominee Matt Stawski will be making his directing debut with a musical feature film titled Monster Mash. Yes, you read that correctly.
It’s going to be an interesting few years for monster movie fans.
Last Updated: March 12, 2020