Following hot on the heels of Tom Cruise, who is starring in a new version of The Mummy, and Angelina Jolie, who will probably be playing The Bride Of Frankenstein, Deadline has broken the news that Johnny Depp will be playing The Invisible Man. The original 1933 movie of that title starred Claude Rains as Jack Griffin, a scientist who turns himself invisible but is driven insane by the process. A thoroughly delightful comedic chiller with special effects that still look quite good even today, it spawned three more serious sequels, one of them featuring an early horror movie appearance [if you can call it that] from Vincent Price, and an even more humorous variant The Invisible Woman until, as with most of their other monsters, Universal decided to kill the character off for good by having him meet Abbot and Costello, though they produced an Invisible Man TV series in the 1970’s starring David McCallum.
Depp badly needs a hit, and this could be a good role for him, but studio execs seem to keep forgetting that, out of all these remakes that have been flooding into cinemas of late, just as many of them perform badly as are successful at the box office. Universal intend to relaunch all of their classic monsters in various new films in the hopes of creating a massive monster universe, similar to what Disney has done to Marvel, but Dracula Untold flopped badly [a good thing, as it was terrible!] and the non-Universal Victor Frankenstein, which, though a little better, was a commercial failure too. As a big fan of the Universal classics, films I grew up on, I would be more positive about all these new versions if they opted to beef up the horror aspect and tried to make these monsters as scary for modern audiences as they were for moviegoers in the 1930’s, but it doesn’t seem like that’s what they’re doing.
The Invisible Man might not be a bad remake, but one film I will not be seeing is the new Bride Of Frankenstein as it’s one of my top twenty movies of all time!