Johnny Depp has been cast to play The Invisible Man for Universal, as they continue to expand their new reboot of their Monster’s Universe.
Deadline had the exclusive earlier this evening. Johnny Depp’s Invisible Man will presumably be the second film in the new reboot series, with The Mummy ramping up production soon and Tom Cruise on board in an unnamed role. I’ll say this for Universal, they’re getting stars.
The original Invisible Man, adapted from the H.G. Wells novel, was released in 1933 and Claude Rains nailed the eccentric maniac behind the bandages. The special effects for the time – or decades after for that matter – were tremendous. It was a tight, well-crafted blend of comedy and madness. I can’t imagine Johnny Depp being able to pull off subtle madness anymore. This whole franchise will most certainly be run into the ground now. Cruise still has the star power to propel a film and, possibly, anchor an entire universe of films. Depp, on the other hand, quit trying a decade ago. And forget the Black Mass defense, because it took about two weeks for the general consensus to sour on that shallow mob flick wannabe.
Where is all the Invisible Man’s jewelry going to go when he’s invisible? His bracelets and his necklaces? Will Depp channel someone like Iggy Pop to play this potential franchise part? Or will he just coast through on autopilot? This is inspired casting on the business side of things, but on the cinematic drawing board this is two things: 1) a step back above everything else, and 2) a clear indication this new Universal Universe is going to be action oriented. I fully understand the need to sell tickets, and Depp does that very thing, but there are so many fresher and more motivated options available.
Just please, for all that that is sacred in this world… Don’t bring Tim Burton on this boat too. Or Verbinski.