One of the pluses of Stephen Sommers’s Van Helsing underperforming a few years ago is that it kyboshed the director’s attempt to single-handedly travesty Universal’s "classic monsters" catalogue. Had he succeeded, we wouldn’t have Mark Romanek’s and Andrew Kevin Walker’s The Wolf Man (starring Benicio Del Toro) looming on the horizon. We also wouldn’t have David Goyer writing and directing an update of H.G. Wells’s The Invisible Man for Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment.
Some of you would probably rather have Goyer remaking Memoirs of an Invisible Man, and given his spotty record as a director, I understand this. Though Goyer is absolutely one of the nicest, most intelligent guys I’ve encountered in the industry, he has yet to fulfill the potential of Dark City and the first Blade; this includes Batman Begins, which suffered from a crammed, dramatically unfulfilling third act. And while I liked Blade: Trinity as an agreeably junky entertainment, Goyer’s clunky left much to be desired.
How many more cracks will Goyer get? As long as the comic book movie genre continues to thrive, probably lots. Since the four-color stuff is getting to be old hat for Goyer, I’m all for him tackling Wells’s provocative, but far-from-perfect tome. Obviously, the writer-director has some kind of transparency – dare I say "hollow"? – fetish; maybe originating the screenplay this time will spare us another The Invisible.
I already like Goyer’s take on the material: this will essentially be a WWII period sequel to Wells’s novel concentrating on the British nephew of the original Invisible Man, who, when he perfects the invisibility formula, is recruited to serve in the MI5. I wonder what use an "Invisible Man" would be in World War II…
This project is most likely a long way off. Going on what I heard from Marvel’s Kevin Feige at today’s Iron Man set visit, Magneto is next up for Goyer.