Universal Studios is bound and determined to do something with their Universal Monsters brand. They’ve announced a shared universe a la Marvel and DC, but how exactly that will come together is unclear. They struck out with Dracula Untold and are now looking to other films to act as their Iron Man. One of these just got a big name added to the marquee.
Johnny Depp will be the lead character in Universal’s remake of The Invisible Man. The 1933 original is one of the best of the classic horror films, blending shrieks and laughs in equal measure. The inimitable Claude Rains portrayed the titualr character and gave a performance that has withstood the test of time. Will Depp be able to measure up?
To be fair, The Invisible Man is the one Monsters property that makes sense as something other than a horror movie. It’s got loads of humor but is anchored by a committed lead performance from Claude Rains. Rains plays everything straight while the action around him is sometimes silly. It will be interesting to see if Universal follows the same method with this remake.
In all honesty, there’s already been a fantastic remake of The Invisible Man back in 2000; Paul Verhoeven’s Hollow Man is an unappreciated gem that leans heavy on the horror. Kevin Bacon gives a showstopping turn as the lead villain, even though he spends the majority of the film unseen. If Universal is looking for the right way to do The Invisible Man, Hollow Man is a great place to take inspiration from.
The film doesn’t have a release date yet, but the next Universal Monsters remake, The Mummy, is due in June 2017. I’m sure we’ll see more of The Invisible Man by then.