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Universal Needs Invisible Agent

Invisible Agent on the remake blockDespite Stephen Sommers’ best effort to destroy the Universal Monsters property for decades to come with the awfulness that was Van Helsing, Universal has recovered from that debacle and now seems to be dusting off one monster after another for an updating. With Benicio Del Toro prepping to get hairy in The Wolf Man and Creature from the Black Lagoon currently mired in development hell (where it will hopefully remain, read Johnny’s script review for reasons why), now it’s The Invisible Man’s turn for a revamping.

According to Variety, Universal Studios and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment are planning to bring H.G. Wells’ classic tale back to the screen with a little help from David Goyer, who will be taking time off from penning the screenplay for every comic book movie ever made to write this one. But here’s the kick; it won’t actually be a remake, so much as it will a sequel.

Quoting the Variety article, “Conceived as a sequel to Wells’ original tale, the story centers on a British nephew of the original Invisible Man. Once he discovers his uncle’s formula for achieving invisibility, he is recruited by British intelligence agency MI5 during WWII.”

So their remake of The Invisible Man that is being conceived as a sequel is actually going to be a remake of The Invisible Agent, a 1942 pseudo-sequel from Universal in which the grandson of the Invisible Man became a spy for the United States when he used his grandfather’s invisibility formula to thwart the Nazis. It’s actually not a bad little film.

Goyer’s quoted in the Variety article saying, “I’ve always been a fan of the original H.G. Wells book as well as the Universal film and felt the property was ripe for reimagining.”

Yes, David, and someone already reimagined it the same way you have over half a century ago. Are you not aware of this? Invisible Agent was included in the Invisible Man Legacy Collection DVD set (review) that Universal just released a few years back so it’s hardly some obscure film lost to the ravages of time that nobody remembers. Why not just admit you’re remaking Invisible Agent instead of saying your redoing The Invisible Man?

A remake that’s actually going to be a sequel that’s actually a remake of a sequel … Welcome to Hollywood, folks.

The Foywonder

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Jon Condit