Gosling and Cianfrance previously teamed on the Oscar-nominated romantic drama “Blue Valentine” and acclaimed thriller “The Place Beyond the Pines.”
Cianfrance is taking over directing duties from Leigh Whannell (“The Invisible Man”), who had to drop out of the project due to a scheduling conflict. Cianfrance will also write the script. It is not clear what the new version of “Wolfman” will look like, but the movie is expected to be a modern take on the story about a man who is bitten and transforms into a werewolf.
“Horror movies were my first love — my entry into what cinema was capable of narratively, psychologically and aesthetically,” the director said in a statement. “Coupled with the opportunity to collaborate with Ryan again, this is truly a dream come true. I’m thrilled and inspired to work with the good folks at Blumhouse and Universal to bring this monster back to life in our collective unconscious.”
After Universal’s attempt to fashion a monster-verse flamed out with Tom Cruise’s box office disaster “The Mummy,” the studio has begun to finesse its approach to big-screen baddies. Rather than creating an interconnected film franchise, a la Marvel, Universal has opted to greenlight standalone features inspired by the studio’s vast catalog of classic monsters. It found critical and commercial success with 2020’s “The Invisible Man” starring Elisabeth Moss, which grossed $143 million worldwide on a $7 million budget. Several other creatures will return to theaters, with “Renfield” starring Nicholas Hoult as Dracula’s unhinged henchman, as well as “Invisible Woman” directed by Elizabeth Banks, already in the works.
It’s been nearly 80 years since Wolfman first appeared on the big screen, in the 1941 adaptation starring Lon Chaney, Jr. The beastly character was revived in the studio’s 2010 remake, starring Benicio del Toro as an American actor who is bitten and cursed by a werewolf. That version was panned by critics in addition to bombing at the box office.
Gosling will serve as a producer on “Wolfman,” along with Jason Blum and Ken Kao.
Cianfrance is represented by CAA, Hunting Lane and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP.