James Wan and Universal Pictures are teaming up to bring another original monster movie to the studio, inspired by Universal’s Dark Universe legacy. The vintage catalog is packed with iconic monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and, of course, the Invisible Man. No details yet on what the project will be, but it’s said to be in line with Universal’s new philosophy as inspired by the success of “The Invisible Man”: ditch the extended universe idea and stick with standalone, original projects helmed by filmmakers with visions.
Robbie Thompson, a longtime writer and co-exec producer on CW’s Supernatural, is penning the script for the untitled horror thriller. Wan is not directing the project but will produce via his Atomic Monster banner.
Sources say the story takes its cues from Universal’s classic monster legacy and shines it through a modern prism. With shades of Disturbia, the story will focus on a group of teens who discover that a neighbor is building a monster in his basement. Spoiler: the monster gets loose.
The new project development happens in the glow of the success of Universal’s The Invisible Man, which overperformed when it opened last week. The movie seems to reaffirm the studio’s position of jettisoning the idea of an interconnected monster movie universe, something it tried to launch with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, and take a filmmaker-driven approach instead. It already has projects in the works from Dexter Fletcher (Renfield), who directed ‘Rocketman’, Paul Feig (Dark Army) who directed ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016), and Elizabeth Banks (The Invisible Woman), who helmed the recent ‘Charlie’s Angels’ box office bomb.