Filmmaker Leigh Whannell's genre career has lived at Blumhouse since his Saw collaborator, James Wan, hopped over to the production outfit for the Insidious franchise. Whannel wrote all four parts of that series, helmed the latest installment, and leaped into directing originals with the scrappy Upgrade. Now Whannell — fresh off of The Invisible Man and news that he's penning a possible remake of Escape from New York — and Jason Blum — head of Blumhouse — have hinted at what the future holds for them both and where their futures cross over.
Speaking to SYFY WIRE for The Invisible Man's arrival on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, Whannell demurred on the Escape from New York remake (he's previously said that he's "a little afraid of" the daunting task and wants "to approach it very carefully") but opened up a bit about what the dream version of his post-quarantine project looks like.
"I wish I knew exactly what my next film project was," Whannell says. "It's an interesting time. It's a good time to think at least, it's like the pause button has been hit on the world. Usually, when I'm trying to think of ideas for movies, I do a lot of staring out the window — and maybe I feel a little guilty about that — but now everybody's staring out the window, so I don't have to feel too guilty. But I don't know what the future holds for movies."
That uncertainty has pervaded the industry, sidelining productions around the world and catalyzing the development of safety guidelines for those hoping to get back to work. Blumhouse has recently been in talks to get back on the Universal lot, though even those plans are still reportedly waiting on plenty of greenlights involving officials in government, insurance, and health capacities. For Whannell, these stumbling blocks simply mean that any end product needs to be extra special.
"I know I want to do something really unique," Whannell says. "I feel like movies are hard anyways and now in the coronavirus era, it's really, really hard. So if I'm gonna make a movie I want it to be a real statement — something you can't get anywhere else."
And, according to Blum, at least one of these films is already in the works at Blumhouse (with whom Whannell signed a first-look deal in February).
"In the fall, we have our next Halloween movie [Halloween Kills] and so far we're holding onto that date in October [Oct. 16]," Blum tells SYFY WIRE. "We have another movie for a date in November. We haven't announced it yet, but we have the movie and it's great. That's what's at stake for the rest of the year and obviously we're cooking up all sorts of things to come. And we're working on one project I'm really excited about with Leigh. We haven't announced it yet, but it's coming soon.”
As more and more production companies dip their toes into resuming work — and Hollywood looks to continue business, if not as usual — more details are likely on the way.
Whannell's latest film for Blumhouse, The Invisible Man, is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD.