Universal Pictures has lined up the latest revamp from its classic catalogue of monster movies, with Ryan Gosling set to take on the title role in “Wolfman.” As first reported by Variety, Gosling will lead this new take on the iconic Universal property, which dates back to 1935’s “Werewolf of London,” starring Henry Hull in the role, and was later reimagined by the studio as “The Wolf Man,” starring Lon Chaney Jr. in 1941. Universal has yet to confirm a director for “Wolfman,” but via comment to IndieWire, the studio did confirm the project.
According to the report, “Wolfman” will likely be sent in present day, a move in line with Universal’s recent push for properties pulled from the Dark Universe legacy with a contemporary spin. That proved to be a huge success with the February release of “The Invisible Man,” which earned more than $122 million at the global box office. Made for just $7 million, the film found continued success on VOD once theaters shuttered in mid-March, and Universal swiftly moved the film to in-home platforms.
The “Wolfman” script, per Variety, comes from Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, who served as writers on Netflix’s flagship series “Orange Is the New Black.”
The Universal catalog includes iconic monsters Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and more. Universal originally hoped to use these to develop an interconnected universe, a la Marvel or DC, but that hope died with the arrival of 2017’s “The Mummy,” starring Tom Cruise, an infamous box office and critical disaster.
The formula of “Wolfman” looks to adhere to Universal’s new philosophy toward Dark Universe spinoffs a la “Invisible Man,” which was directed by “Saw” franchise screenwriter Leigh Whannell: Stick with standalone, original projects helmed by filmmakers with unique visions.
As California begins to outline plans for film and TV production to resume, there’s no word yet on when “Wolfman” might take off. Ryan Gosling also recently attached to star as an astronaut in a new film directed by “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. It’s an adaptation of an upcoming novel from “The Martian” author Andy Weir.