Deadline is reporting the addition of Johnny Depp to the budding Universal monsters universe.
Depp will appear as The Invisible Man. The first live-action adaptation of the character came in 1933 and was adapted from the H.G. Wells novel of the same name.
Depp is coming off the hugely lauded performance he gave in Black Mass and will next be seen in Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. And whilst some will howl at Depp’s return to roles in Wonderland and the Pirates series, he seems to be trying different and interesting things on the side as well.
Characters like The Mummy, Dracula (presumably not Luke Evans’ bland one), Frankenstein, Wolfman, Van Helsing and The Bride of Frankenstein will also appear in Universal’s shared monster universe. All the classic characters are being taken from their period settings and bought over to modern day, to allow a more cohesive crossover narrative to take place. Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) and Chris Morgan (Fast and Furious) are masterminding the shared monster universe for Universal.
Whilst movie commentators love to lament the Marvel-esque shared universe being created at other studios, they often forget that it has been done before. Universal actually had a classic shared monsters universe, they’re just bringing it back because it’s hip and cool now.
Furthermore, they seem to be making the right calculated decisions with their films. Rumours claim that Dracula Untold has been disregarded and thrown from Universal’s shared plans. That’s a great way to start. The Mummy, written and to be directed by Alex Kurtzman, who has cast Kingsman breakout Sofia Boutella in the titular role and even bagged every-man Tom Cruise in the lead role.
That means we could one day see a Universal monsters crossover film starring the Depp, Cruise and who knows who else.
The Invisible Man doesn’t have a release date.