While filmmaker Leigh Whannell might not have the same name-recognition as contemporaries like James Wan or Eli Roth, he has been connected to a number of the genre's best films over the past decade, with Blumhouse Productions cementing their partnership with the writer/director by signing a two-year first-look deal with Whannell. The filmmaker has already collaborated with Blumhouse seven times, including films like Insidious, Upgrade, and, most recently, The Invisible Man, with this partnership meaning that any projects Whannell aims to produce or direct will first be optioned to Blumhouse to develop or pass on for the next two years.
"10 years ago, I walked into Jason Blum's office thinking that I was having a general meeting with a producer who liked horror movies — little did I know that a decade-long partnership and friendship was about to begin," Whannell shared in a statement, per Variety. "I have since watched his then-infant company, Blumhouse, grow into a powerhouse of genre films, a nurturing place that is willing to take risks on people. Indeed, they have taken plenty of risks on me and I look forward to taking many more with them as they continue to grow in the world of film and television."
Whannell may have only directed three films, but has had a hand in writing a number of films that went on to establish some of the more iconic franchises of the last decade. In addition to writing the first three Saw films and all four Insidious films, he also wrote Cooties, as well as Upgrade and Invisible Man.
"Leigh creates movies which not only launch franchises, but fundamentally change the landscape of their genre," Blum shared. "After he and James Wan made Saw, it launched dozens of copycats. Their work with Blumhouse on Insidious launched not just a franchise, but dozens of classical proscenium PG-13 supernatural horror films. I have no doubt that will be true for The Invisible Man and for anything else he wants to create. I just want to be there with him when he does."
With The Invisible Man on pace for a $27 million opening and sitting at 90% positive reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, some are assuming it's only a matter of time before news comes of a sequel announcement. Whannell, however, likely won't start considering those plans for a little while longer.
"In my last Hollywood Reporter interview right before Upgrade was released, I talked about my superstition that I have around box office," Whannell shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "You're on such tenterhooks when you put a movie out in the world. You can control everything in a movie: the costumes, the lighting, the editing. But, you can't control whether the world deems it worthy of seeing or not. That's the one thing that's out of your hands. For a control freak like a movie director, it drives you crazy. I haven't angered the movie gods by thinking about a sequel."
He added, "I feel like people don't believe me when I say that, but I promise you, hand on my heart, that any time a thought of a sequel drifts into my mind, I just push it out. I don't want to even acknowledge it until the movie is worthy of it. If the movie does well, I'm sure someone will call me and say, "Hey, what do you think about a sequel?" But, until that happens, I just have to block it out. I don't want to anger the movie gods."
The Invisible Man is in theaters now.
Does this partnership have you excited? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!
Photo courtesy of David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage at Getty Images