EXCLUSIVE: Universal’s latest Wolfman movie starring Ryan Gosling looks to be gaining momentum as the studio has zeroed in on a director that knows the Oscar-nominated actor’s work very well. Sources tell Deadline that Derek Cianfrance, who teamed with Gosling on the dramas Place Beyond the Pines and Blue Valentine, is in talks to direct a new take on the studio’s classic monster character.
Cianfrance steps in for Leigh Whannell, who parted ways with the project earlier this year due to scheduling. Gosling, Ken Kao and Jason Blum are producing, and Cianfrance is penning the script.
It’s unknown what the new take on Wolfman will look like, though it is believed to be a modern take and not a period piece like the one starring Benicio Del Toro. Gosling pitched the idea and the take fell in line with the studio’s new vision for its monster movies. Universal had originally planned on creating an interconnected universe with its vast catalog of monster IP. However, the studio reassessed after The Mummy with Tom Cruise misfired, and decided to move forward with filmmaker-driven projects based on the monsters’ legacies, focusing on what made the characters endure over time. Instead of prescribing a mandate that the films be part of a larger scheme, Universal loosened those restrictions and open-sourced to talent to create their own unique stories.
Cianfrance is not known for tackling event projects at major studios, preferring more grounded adult dramas he’s done with Gosling like Blue Valentine and Place Beyond the Pines. That said, the two are always open to listening to pitches from one another when projects come up, and insiders say after Whannell departed, Gosling approached Cianfrance about his idea for the film, ultimately winning the director over.
“Horror movies were my first love — my entry into what cinema was capable of narratively, psychologically and aesthetically. 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,” said Cianfrance.
Although Cianfrance hasn’t directed a film since 2016’s The Light Between Oceans, he recently earned an Oscar nomination for his work writing Sound of Metal. On the TV front, he earned strong reviews directing all six episodes of the Emmy-winning limited series I Know This Much Is True starring Mark Ruffalo.
He is repped by CAA.
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