Universal is in the motions of rebooting their iconic monsters that have been at the heart of the horror genre since the legends of these creatures took over popular culture. Two-time Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling is sinking his teeth into the Wolfman project, where he has been attached to star in the remake. The reboot follows Universal Pictures’ previous take on the titular beast, The Wolfman, in 2010. Wolfman is only one of Universal’s films being recreated in order to re-start their monster universe and has finally locked down a director after a search for the key role had ensued since the film’s announcement. Director Derek Cianfrance has now joined the Wolfman team.
The change of director has been triggered by Leigh Whannell’s departure from Ryan Gosling’s Wolfman, which will fall under the Blumhouse distribution banner. Leigh Whannell was originally set to direct, but sources for Deadline say Whannell had a scheduling conflict. It is rumored that the plot will see Ryan Gosling as a television news anchor by day covering the story of a series of grisly murders committed by himself after he transforms into his werewolf form under the full moon. This contemporary spin on a classic horror tale adds a creative spin on film that has been reimagined and recreated previously. A deepfake trailer took advantage of Ryan Gosling’s casting as the Wolfman himself, and internet creatives took to YouTube to cast out their own fan-made trailers.
The 2010 Wolfman was a period piece. If the rumors prove true, Universal is diverging from that course with their new modern take. It was Ryan Gosling who originally pitched the idea for the Wolfman movie to Universal, and his vision for the monster movie aligned with the studio’s ambitions for their revamped monster-verse. Originally, Universal wanted to tie Wolfman into other preexisting titles that built up the collection of their horror library, though after the misfiring of Tom Cruises’ The Mummy in 2017 and the outpour of dissatisfaction around the film, the studio reevaluated their plan of attack.
The roster of upcoming Universal monster movies stretches beyond Ryan Gosling and his Wolfman project and will continue to grow following the success of The Invisible Man (2020). There are plans to reintroduce a high-profile catalog of characters including Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mummy, and an array of others. Universal is choosing not to follow the familiar formula that other studios have been keen to utilize for themselves, and are departing from the practice of building a shared universe. Instead, they are choosing to grant individual filmmakers the right to apply their unique interpretations of the characters while bringing them back to life through individualistic means.
Ryan Gosling may scare up excitement around his upcoming horror project, though it’s not the only unexpected casting news that has called attention to the actor’s upcoming work. As a bit of a 180 from Wolfman, Ryan Gosling will star opposite Margot Robbie in Barbie as her designated male counterpart, Ken. Even though the toys have been popular since their launch in March 1959, there’s been no official title given to the nature of the relationship between Barbie and Ken. It’s a definite change of pace for the leading man, who instead of howling at the moon, will be keeping Barbie company in her Malibu Dream House. There have been no release dates assigned to Wolfman or Barbie yet.