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As the classic horror cinema characters such as Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula maintain their everlasting fandoms through celebrations such as Universal Studios’ Halloween-themed events, Hollywood continues its attempts to reboots the stable of monsters for modern audiences. Ryan Gosling’s Wolfman reboot will follow in the spiritual footsteps of Leigh Whannel’s 2020 hit The Invisible Man, and previously had Whannel tapped as both co-writer and director. That’s not the case anymore, however, with Wolfman now being helmed by someone Gosling is quite familiar with.
It looks like Wolfman will be another reteaming for Ryan Gosling and the Oscar-nominated writer/director Derek Cianfrance, according to Deadline. A filmmaker most definitely not known for getting behind the camera for big-budget studio far, or for any kind of fantastical storytelling in general, Cianfrance is perhaps best known for his two collaborations with Gosling: 2010’s Blue Valentine, which earned Michelle Williams an Oscar nom, and 2012’s The Place Beyond the Pines. He’s a storyteller who delves into personal traumas and situations that are indeed horrific, even if they don’t count as “horror.”
Which means that Derek Cianfrance’s take on Wolfman could completely revert the Universal Monster-verse into being something purely cinematic again, with The Invisible Man as the first successful step in that direction. One could only hope that Cianfrance and Ryan Gosling will avoid the missteps taken by Joe Johnston’s 2010 reboot with Benicio Del Toro, while really delivering on making the film’s characters feel as real and authentic as the emotionally wrought leads of Blue Valentine, Sound of Metal and Cianfrance’s more recent HBO limited series I Know This Much Is True. The latter earned Mark Ruffalo an Emmy win.
As it happens, Ryan Gosling was reportedly instrumental in bringing Derek Cianfrance on board the Universal and Blumhouse project. The two apparently share project pitches on occasion, and it’s stated that once Leigh Whannel exited Wolfman earlier in 2021 over scheduling concerns, Gosling reached out to Cianfrance to lay out his vision for what the film should be, which convinced the writer/director to sign on. Considering Cianfrance hasn’t directed a film since 2016’s The Light Between Oceans, this would be one hell of a return project.
Here’s what Derek Cianfrance had to say in reacting to the news:
Even beyond the pathos that he’ll bring to the project, horror fans should definitely keep in mind that Cianfrance projects also boast stellar casts. So if he brings in other repeat performers like Ryan Gosling, Wolfman could feature such stars as Rachel Weisz, Michael Fassbender, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn and more. Or, you know, none of those people and a bunch of other great actors.
Hopefully this movie remains high on the list of upcoming Ryan Gosling projects, as there are never too many franchises in horror cinema. While waiting for more updates, check out all the other upcoming horror movies on the way!