EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set its Wolfman project on a fast track to production. Leigh Whannell is negotiating to direct Ryan Gosling in the lead role, and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse has boarded the picture to be producer along with Gosling. Blumhouse just teamed with Whannell on the Elizabeth Moss-starrer The Invisible Man, a $7 million budget film that was a win for Universal’s Classic Movie Monsters initiative, grossing $124 million worldwide.
Whannell will also be writing the treatment for the film, based on an original idea of his own and inspired by the 1941 classic. Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo (Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) will write the script.
Whannell and Gosling have wanted to work together for some time, but the director originally demurred when first offered Wolfman. Schuker Blum is Jason Blum’s wife, and the producer asked the director to reconsider. Whannell has a first look deal across film and television with Blumhouse, for projects he writes, directs or produces and over the last decade, Whannell and Blumhouse have collaborated on seven projects.
After getting the Classic Movie Monsters program off to a rough start with the pricey flop The Mummy, the studio tabled a bunch of star-attached projects and now only makes them when the pieces fit creatively. They like the fit here.
Whannell is represented by CAA and Myman Greenspan.