Invisible Man (film series)

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The Invisible Man is the title of several horror-adventure film series centered on an individual who is made to be invisible, bringing them into contact with insanity from both without and within, and the ensuing efforts made to turn them visible again.

Universal Classic Monsters film series (1933–1951)[edit]

The original series of films consisted of seven installments, which starred iconic horror actors such as Claude Rains (only in the original one, as Griffin); Vincent Price, Virginia Bruce, and Arthur Franz as Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe, Kitty Carroll, and Tommy Nelson; and lastly Jon Hall, who played twin brothers Frank and Robert Griffin, grandchildren of the original Griffin. The series of films is part of the larger Universal Classic Monsters series.

Year Film The Invisible Main actor
1933 Invisible Man Claude Rains
1940 The Invisible Man Returns Vincent Price
The Invisible Woman Virginia Bruce
1942 Invisible Agent
Jon Hall
1944 The Invisible Man's Revenge
1948 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Vincent Price
1951 Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man Arthur Franz

Dark Universe and reboot series (2020–present)[edit]

The Invisible Man
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Music byBenjamin Wallfisch (1)
Edited byAndy Canny (1)
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
Running time
125 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$7 million
Box office$124.5 million

Development of a new The Invisible Man film began as early as 2006 when David S. Goyer was hired to write the screenplay.[1] Goyer remained attached to the project as late as 2011, with little to no further development on the film.[2]

In February 2016, the project was announced to be revived as part of Universal's cinematic universe, intended to consist of their classic monsters. Johnny Depp was cast as the titular character, with Ed Solomon writing the screenplay.[3] The film was set to be part of Universal Pictures' modern-day reboot of their Universal Monsters, called Dark Universe. The would-be series of films was set to begin with The Mummy and followed by a remake of Bride of Frankenstein in 2019. In 2017, The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman stated that fans should expect at least one film per year in the shared film universe.[4] However, once The Mummy was released to negative critical reception and box office returns deemed by the studio as insufficient, changes were made to the Dark Universe to focus on individual storytelling and move away from the shared universe concept.[5]

In January 2019, Universal announced that all future movies film on their horror characters would focus on standalone stories, avoiding inter-connectivity.[6] Successful horror film producer Jason Blum, founder of production company Blumhouse Productions,[7] had at various times publicly expressed his interest in reviving and working on future installments within the Dark Universe films. The Invisible Man was set to be written and directed by Leigh Whannell, and produced by Blum, but would not star Depp as previously reported.[8]

On February 22, 2020, during an interview with Cinemablend's ReelBlend Podcast, Whannell stated that the film was never planned to be part of any cinematic universe, including the Dark Universe.[9] He stated,

"It was weird, this film came about in a really random way. It wasn't like I was plugged into some kind of worldbuilding. I had just finished Upgrade, they called me in for a meeting with some of these Universal and Blumhouse execs… I go to this meeting, and they didn't really talk about Upgrade. I mean, they said they liked it and they moved on. So, I'm sitting on this couch thinking, 'What am I here for? What is this meeting about?' And they started talking about The Invisible Man."[9]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
The Invisible Man 91% (344 reviews)[10] 71 (357 reviews)[11] B+[12]
  • The Invisible Man (2020)
    Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister Alice, their childhood friend and her ex-husband James, and their teenage daughter Sydney. But when Cecilia's abusive ex-boyfriend commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax; as a series of eerie coincidences turn lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia's sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
  • The Invisible Woman (TBA)

In November 2019, it was announced that a spin-off film centered around the female counterpart to Invisible Man was in development. Elizabeth Banks was set to star in, direct, and produce a new adaptation of The Invisible Woman (1940), based on her own original story pitch. Erin Cressida Wilson will write the script for the reboot of the female monster, while Max Handelman and Alison Small will serve as producer and executive producer, respectively.[13] Banks was allowed to choose a project by Universal Pictures from the roster of Universal Monsters, ultimately choosing The Invisible Woman.[14]

Feature films[edit]

Number Title Release date Director Continuity
1 The Invisible Man November 13, 1933 James Whale Universal Classic Monsters
2 The Invisible Man Returns January 12, 1940 Joe May
3 The Invisible Woman December 27, 1940 A. Edward Sutherland
4 Invisible Agent July 31, 1942 Edwin L. Marin
5 The Invisible Man's Revenge June 9, 1944 Ford Beebe
6 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein June 15, 1948 Charles Barton
7 Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man March 19, 1951 Charles Lamont
8 The Invisible Man February 27, 2020 Leigh Whannell Reboot series
9 The Invisible Woman TBA Elizabeth Banks

Cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.
  • A P indicates the character was shown in a photograph and/or mentioned.
  • A U indicates a uncredited role.
  • A V indicates a voice-only role.
  • A C indicates a cameo appearance.
  • A L indicates an appearance wherein an actor's facial features were digitally imprinted upon another actor's face.
  • A Y indicates an appearance as a younger version of a pre-existing character.
  • An A indicates an appearance through archival footage, audio or stills.
Character Universal Classic Monsters Reboot series
The Invisible Man The Invisible Man Returns The Invisible Woman Invisible Agent The Invisible Man's Revenge Abbott and Costello Meet
Abbott and Costello Meet the
Invisible Man
The Invisible Man The Invisible Woman
1933 1940 1942 1944 1948 1951 2020 TBA
Dr. John "Jack" Griffin
The Invisible Man
Claude Rains Claude RainsP   Mentioned   Claude RainsP  
Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe
The Invisible Man
  Vincent Price   Vincent PriceUVC   TBA
Richard Cobb   Sir Cedric Hardwicke   Sir Cedric Hardwicke  
Conrad Stauffer      
Dr. Frank Adrian Griffin   John Sutton   Oliver Jackson-Cohen  
Kitty Carroll
The Invisible Woman
  Virginia Bruce   Elizabeth Banks
Frank "Raymond" Griffin
The Invisible Agent
  Jon Hall  
Dr. Robert Griffin
The Invisible Man
Joan Raymond
Maria Sorenson
  Ilona Massey   Jane Randolph  
Chick Young   Bud Abbott  
Bud Alexander    
Wilbur Grey   Lou Costello  
Lou Francis    
Tom Nelson Griffin
The Invisible Man
  Arthur Franz
James BestL
Michael Dorman  
Cecelia "Cee" Kass
The Invisible Woman
  Elisabeth Moss  


Crew/detail Film
Universal Classic Monsters Reboot series
The Invisible Man The Invisible Man Returns The Invisible Woman Invisible Agent The Invisible Man's Revenge Abbott and Costello Meet
Abbott and Costello Meet the
Invisible Man
The Invisible Man The Invisible Woman
1933 1940 1942 1944 1948 1951 2020 TBA
Director(s) James Whale Joe May A. Edward Sutherland Edwin L. Marin Ford Beebe Charles Barton Charles Lamont Leigh Whannell Elizabeth Banks
Producer(s) Carl Laemmle, Jr. Ken Goldsmith Burt Kelly Frank Lloyd Robert Arthur Howard Christie Jason Blum
Kylie du Fresne
Elizabeth Banks
Max Handelman
Writer(s) Screenplay:
R. C. Sherriff, Philip Wylie & Preston Sturges
Curt Siodmak & Lester Cole
Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo & Gertrude Purcell
Curtis Siodmak Bertram Millhauser Screenplay:
Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo & John Grant
Leigh Whannell Screenplay:
Erin Cressida Wilson
Based on characters by:
H.G. Wells and Philip Wylie
Curtis Siodmak & Joe May
Based on characters by:
Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Curt Siodmak, and H.G. Wells
Hugh Wedlock Jr. & Howard Snyder
Elizabeth Banks
Composer(s) Heinz Roemheld Hans J. Salter
Frank Skinner
Frank Skinner Hans J. Salter (uncredited) Hans J. Salter Frank Skinner Erich Zeisl Benjamin Wallfisch TBA
Editor(s) Ted J. Kent Frank Gross Edward Curtiss Saul A. Goodkind Frank Gross Virgil Vogel Andy Canny
Cinematographer Arthur Edeson Milton R. Krasner Elwood Bredell Lester White Milton R. Krasner Charles Van Enger George Robinson Stefan Duscio
Production companies Universal Pictures Universal-International Blumhouse Productions
Nervous Tick
Goalpost Pictures
Brownstone Productions
Distributor(s) Universal Pictures
Runtime 71 minutes 81 minutes 72 minutes 81 minutes 78 minutes 83 minutes 82 minutes 124 minutes TBA
Release date November 13, 1933 January 12, 1940 December 27, 1940 July 31, 1942 June 9, 1944 June 15, 1948 March 19, 1951 February 27, 2020

Derivative works[edit]


  1. ^ Billington, Alex (December 12, 2008). "David S. Goyer Directing The Invisible Man Before Magneto". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "David S. Goyer's 'Invisible Man' Remake Is Still Alive". Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike, Jr. (2016-02-10). "Johnny Depp To Star In 'The Invisible Man' At Universal". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  4. ^ "Alex Kurtzman says monster movie fans should get one Dark Universe film a year". 6 June 2017. Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  5. ^
  6. ^ ‘Invisible Man’ Finds Director, Sets New Course for Universal’s Monster Legacy (EXCLUSIVE)
  7. ^ Cunningham, Todd (July 20, 2014). "Blumhouse Signs 10-Year Production Deal With Universal Pictures". The Wrap. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Mahmoud, Sarah El (February 22, 2020). "The Invisible Man Was Never Considered A Part Of The Dark Universe, Leigh Whannell Reveals". Cinemablend.
  10. ^ "The Invisible Man (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  11. ^ "The Invisible Man (2020) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on March 28, 2020.
  12. ^ "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 26, 2019). "Elizabeth Banks to Direct, Star in Invisible Woman for Universal". Variety. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  14. ^ Donnelly, Matt (2020-02-11). "Hollywood Still Trying to Put a Ring on Universal's 'Bride of Frankenstein' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2020-02-24.