Elizabeth Banks has been hired by Universal to direct, produce, and star in a fresh take on The Invisible Woman. The original film released almost 80 years ago in 1940 starred Virginia Bruce as a former department store model who becomes a test subject for a scientist's invisibility device. Unlike The Invisible Man films that were horror thrillers, The Invisible Woman was more of a comedy.
It remains unclear in Banks' version will be more comedic than thrilling, but sources at The Hollywood Reporter claims "the tone of the project is Thelma & Louise meets American Psycho." Now, that sounds like a promising combination. Banks proved a natural turning her talents to filmmaking with her directorial debut Pitch Perfect 2, which generated more than $287 million worldwide. Her next effort didn't fare so well at the box office, the still in cinemas Charlie's Angels reboot has grossed just $16 million domestically with an equally underwhelming $34 million internationally.
Once Universal's short-lived Dark Universe collapsed, after one movie, it took a while for the studio to figure out what to do with its library of monsters. It took a wild pitch from Saw creator Leigh Whannall to horror producer Jason Blum for Universal to give to the go-ahead for a new (Johnny Depp free) spin on The Invisible Man. The first trailer recently debuted starring Elizabeth Banks, and before you think Universal is planning an Invisible Man/Woman crossover, the two projects won't be connected. Much like Warner Bros' DCEU, Universal is focusing on making singular experiences for audiences rather than a shared world.
Feeling the full force of the Joker effect, Universal recently announced another Dracula film; only this one will be told from the perspective of the Count's victim turned unwitting servant Renfeld. Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman) is in talks to direct from a script by Rick & Morty writer Ryan Ridley.
The Invisible Man will be released on February 28, 2020.