Ryan Gosling’s The Wolfman has been rattling around at Blumhouse for a little while now without seeing much movement. The new take on the classic Universal Monster movie was announced after the success of The Invisible Man reboot, which in turn was effectively a kick start of the pretty much defunct Dark Universe that Universal originally announced in 2017 before the Tom Cruise dud of The Mummy put it back in the ground and buried it. Blumhouse’s completely reinvented take on the Invisible Man though was enough to bring the possibility of a Universal Monserverse back to life, and The Wolfman is next in its sights. While Leigh Whannell was original signed on to direct, it looks like he has now stepped away from the project, and Gosling has brought in his frequent collaborator Derek Cianfrance to helm the movie.
Wolfman would be the third movie that Gosling and Cianfrance have worked on together, and considering that their previous offerings of The Place Beyond The Pines and Blue Valentine were not exactly a laugh a minute, then they could certainly bring a dark tone to the movie. According to original reports, the idea for the story came from Gosling himself, with Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo penning the screenplay. While the last reboot of The Wolfman in 2010 put Benicio del Toro’s titular monster into a period setting, this new take will put the hairy beast into a modern setting and is rumored to take its main cues from Nightcrawler, the 2014 psychological thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Bill Paxton.
According to the latest report on the project, Leigh Whannell was forced to leave the movie production due to a schedule conflict, which could be the recently announced Upgrade TV series, which is based on Whannell’s 2018 cyberpunk action movie, and will be part of the Australian director’s overall deal with Blumhouse. While Whannell had great success with The Invisible Man, it looks like the production company are moving deeper into their revamp of old monster movies and he will likely have another chance to bring another classic creature to screens in future.
Jason Blum recently confirmed the news that the Universal Monsters reboots are definitely a big feature in Blumhouse’s upcoming slate. Speaking to Collider, Blum said, “We have two or three we’re developing. They’re not yet announced, so I can’t talk about them. But the status with Universal monsters is no different than it’s ever been. Universal is in charge of the Universal monsters. But we’ve come up with a few ideas that they’ve like for a few of their other ones. And hopefully, we’ll turn those into movies.”
The Wolfman, and werewolves of all shapes and sizes come to that, has had a rocky history since Lon Chaney Jr. first donned furry make-up in 1941 ( although, it is often forgotten that Henry Hull played the first Universal werewolf in Werewolf of London in 1935). While the iconic character actor would play the role in four other movies such as House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula, many future iterations of the character would suffer a combination of bad writing, bad acting and, with the advent of CGI, some very ropey transformations. Werewolves in film have had their moments, such as in An American Werewolf in London, which contains what is still cited as the greatest transformation scene ever, Ginger Snaps and Dog Soldiers, but then you have the likes of the Hugh Jackman vehicle Van Helsing, Stephen King’s Silver Bullet and many more that have failed to hit the mark as far as their savage lupine beasts go.
There is currently no release date set for The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling, but with filming yet to begin, a 2023 arrival seems like a fair estimate. This news originated at Deadline.