The connected Dark Universe may not have lasted long, but Universal's rebooted vision for its classic monster properties seems to be coming together quite nicely. Leigh Whannell's updated take on The Invisible Man was a commercial and critical success earlier this year, so much so that the filmmaker is following the effort up with a reboot of The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling. Universal is focusing on unique visions for these monster movies, and it has now found the right director take bring Van Helsing back to life.
According to a new report from Deadline, Universal has teamed up with producer James Wan (The Conjuring, Aquaman) to reboot the Van Helsing franchise. Julius Avery, the filmmaker behind 2018's Overlord, will be directing the film. Eric Pearson wrote the original script for this rebooted take, but Avery will be reworking it now that he's on board as director.
Alongside Wan and his Atomic Monster banner, Van Helsing will be produced by Michael Clear. Judson Scott will serve as executive producer.
There aren't many details known about the new Van Helsing project just yet, including what sort of role the titular character will take in the movie. However, according to Deadline's report, Van Helsing has long been a top monster priority for Universal, despite its lack of success in the past.
A Van Helsing movie was released back in 2004, with then-emerging X-Men star Hugh Jackman taking on the lead role. There were hopes that the film would launch a new franchise for Universal, but it underwhelmed Universal with critics and at the box office. Now, it appears Van Helsing will be given the same treatment as characters like The Invisible Man and Dracula, and a rising filmmaker at the helm.
Universal is being very open when it comes to the direction of these new monster properties, considering how well The Invisible Man performed. This means that a violent, R-rated take on Van Helsing could certainly be on the table. Avery's Overlord was an incredibly bloody affair, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him deliver a similar tone with Van Helsing.
What do you think of the new directorial choice for Van Helsing? Are you looking forward to the next wave of Universal monster movies? Let us know in the comments!