Universal apparently isn’t too concerned with seeing how Invisible Man turns out before taking some decisive next steps with their “director-driven” pivot to the Universal Monsters lineup. Today, news arrived that Charlie’s Angels director Elizabeth Banks will be directing, producing and starring in Invisible Woman, which may or may not directly follow the conclusion of Leigh Whannel’s upcoming Invisible Man, currently scheduled for a Feb. 28, 2020 release.
The Invisible Woman would technically be a remake, although the 1940 original isn’t very well known, even to horror geeks. That film was about a department store model who is accidentally made invisible, and uses her newfound powers to enact screwball comedy antics, deviating from the horror-thriller tone of the original Invisible Man and first sequel The Invisible Man Returns. A modern Invisible Woman, on the other hand, could go either way, as the description of the script as being “Thelma & Louise meets American Psycho” sounds particularly confusing. Is it a … psychological horror comedy, then? The only person who knows for sure would be The Girl on the Train scribe Erin Cressida Wilson, who wrote the current version of The Invisible Woman script.
This is of course the latest chapter in the now-sprawling history of the failure of Universal’s “Dark Universe” attempt to create a shared cinematic universe in the vein of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, culminating in the roundly disliked, Tom Cruise-starring The Mummy. Universal has since abandoned those plans, zeroing in on nichey, lower-budget movies like Invisible Man and the just-announced film about Dracula’s servant Renfield, but the presence of Paul Feig directing a movie called Dark Army has to make you wonder if the studio still has grand “monster superhero team-up” plans in its back pocket. The idea of Marvel-sized profits must be difficult to dismiss.
Banks, meanwhile, will presumably be looking to rebound by putting everything she can into this project, after her latest directorial effort Charlie’s Angels hit the box office with a resounding thud, arriving to poor critical reviews and very poor attendance. Here’s hoping she rights the ship and injects some life into one of Universal’s less-prized IPs at the same time.