Cecilia Kass is in a relationship with a brilliant and rich scientist. No longer tolerating her violent and tyrannical behavior, she fled one night and took refuge with her sister, their childhood friend and her teenage daughter. But when the man commits suicide by leaving Cecilia a large part of his immense fortune, she begins to wonder if he is really dead. As a series of disturbing coincidences threatens the lives of the people she loves, Cecilia desperately seeks to prove that she is being chased by a man whom no one can see. Little by little, she feels that her reason is wavering …
He went through more than 15 years of cinema behind the scenes of horror films. Leigh Whannell, screenwriter of the first three parts of Saw and director of Upgrade, returns with a new production: Invisible Man. A revisit of the myth created in 1897 by the author HG Wells, expected in our theaters on February 26, 2020. At the launch of the trailer, Leigh Whannell told us about his vision of the character and the evolution of the kind.
AlloCiné: How did you come up with this project?
Leigh Whannell: I had just finished Upgrade, my previous achievement. I met Universal, they told me they liked the film and asked me if I would be interested in working with them. This is when the Invisible Man project was put on the table. The first idea that came to my mind was to tell this story from the point of view of the victim and not of the character of the Invisible Man, as is the case in the original work of H.G. Wells. This perspective allowed me not only to film an innocent manhandled by an imperceptible force but also to work on the unproven, on the sensation
What did you take from the book and were you inspired by previous adaptations?
I took nothing from the adaptations. Few of them were faithful to the novel, by the way. There was even a comedic version by John Carpenter with Chevy Chase in the early 90s. A very different approach! I saw this proposal as an opportunity to treat this character in a completely new way. I didn’t want flying sunglasses or floating pipe. What interested me was that there was nothing in space. I wanted to point the camera at an empty room and ask the audience to try to see someone there. What did I take from the novel? Scientific experience and what the power of invisibility causes in humans, physically and psychologically.
How do you create a character who is not there? And how does this affect the direction of the actors?
When we make a film about a werewolf, we film the void which we then fill with special effects. For the invisible man, there is nothing during filming and there is still nothing once the product is finished. It’s a real risk, we bet that the public will believe it. The idea for me was to deepen the psychological horror by creating a suggestion. And for that you need excellent and involved actors. Elisabeth Moss is a powerful performer and it is a pleasure for a director to witness and film it.
We talk a lot about Dark Universe, this name given to all the monster movies produced by Universal and which would share a common universe …
I know that at one point, Universal was indeed planning to create a shared universe, a Monsterverse in which would evolve The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Creature of the Black Lake … But when I met them, he never was no longer a question. On the contrary, they encouraged me to make my own film, with my own style, and this is what they also asked the other filmmakers.
Saw was released 16 years ago. What is your view on the evolution of the horrifying genre?
That’s wonderful ! And beautiful to see. Today there is a wider range of films than 15 years ago. Get Out, Without a sound, Midsommar … These are very different works and yet they belong to the same genre. Horror really has its place in the current cinematic spectrum. When I hear people say “horror is back”, it makes me laugh. She never left! We don’t say the same thing about comedies for example. The difference is that the horror evolved in waves of sub-genres: there was the gore period, then the “paranormal / haunted houses” period … Today, in 2019/2020, there is A little bit of everything. And I am delighted.