The Invisible Man reboot casts Storm Reid, bringing the first plot details to light. After two failed attempts to launch a monster movie universe (first with Dracula Untold in 2014, then the Dark Universe's Mummy in 2017), Universal is taking a different approach to reviving its classic creature franchises. The studio is currently collaborating with Blumhouse on an Invisible Man retelling that embraces the latter's so-far-successful low budget approach, in an effort to kick-off a new series of movies about characters like Dracula, The Wolfman, and so forth. For the time being, however, Invisible Man isn't being described as the start of a shared universe.
In fact, little to nothing's been reported about Invisible Man so far, when it comes to story-related information. The movie is being written and directed by actor-filmmaker Leigh Whannell (Upgrade) and added Elisabeth Moss to its cast earlier this year, but has yet to find its actual Invisible Man. Nevertheless, the project seems to be moving along steadily now, as a fresh casting update have finally revealed what sets Whannell's vision for the franchise apart from the versions that've come before.
Deadline is reporting that Reid (best known for playing Meg in Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time adaptation) has joined the Invisible Man cast as a character named Sydney. According to the site, the movie's plot follows a woman named Cecilia (Moss), as she learns her abusive ex-boyfriend has committed suicide. However, when strange things start to happen to her thereafter, Cecilia begins to wonder if she's losing her grip on reality... or if her former lover might not actually be dead. The report further suggests Cecilia comes to care for Sydney (whose mother, for as-yet undisclosed reasons, is no longer around when the film picks up). Here's a description of Sydney:
With her mother gone, she’s picked up the maternal slack and is very capable and mature for her age. She’s an outgoing lover of fashion who aspires to see the world, and she initially likes having Cecilia around as a role model, but grows mistrustful of her when strange things begin to happen around the house.
Assuming these details are accurate, they suggest Whannell is taking an intriguing approach with his Invisible Man reboot. It appears the project will explore themes about surviving trauma with its narrative, which plays up the mystery of whether Cecilia is simply haunted by the memory of her abusive boyfriend (making him an "invisible man" in a metaphorical sense)... or if he's somehow managed to make himself invisible and is merely presumed dead, similar to previous iterations of the story. Whannell, for his part, is far from a stranger to movies that explore trauma through the lens of horror; in fact, his scripts for the third and fourth Insidious films did that very thing. That's to say, this sounds like a smart idea that plays to his strengths as a storyteller.
Moss, of course, is far from a stranger to stories about people who're haunted in a literal or figurative way either, and it seems Invisible Man will give the Mad Men and Handmaid's Tale star a chance to really shine. It's also encouraging to hear the relationship between Moss and Reid's characters will be a key part of the narrative here, making the reboot all the more of a women-driven horror offering for it (onscreen, that is). And as for the Invisible Man himself: last we heard, Armie Hammer and Alexander Skarsgård were the top picks to play the role, so so there ought to be an update arriving on that front in the foreseeable future.