The Invisible Man is a 2020 science fiction horror film written and directed by Leigh Whannell. It follows a woman who, after the apparent suicide of her abusive and wealthy boyfriend, believes she is being stalked by him. She ultimately deduces that he has acquired the ability to become invisible.The film stars Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. It is an international co-production of the United States and Australia.
Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with wealthy optics engineer and businessman Adrian Griffin, Cecilia Kass drugs him with Diazepam and escapes their home into the nearby woods to wait for her sister, Emily. After she arrives, Adrian nearly catches Cecilia, but the pair are able to escape.
Cecilia hides out with childhood friend and Emily’s ex-husband, James, and his teenage daughter Sydney. Two weeks later, Adrian seemingly commits suicide and leaves Cecilia $5 million in his will, handled and organized by his lawyer brother, Tom. As Cecilia tries to move forward, she is plagued by several unexplained experiences. During a job interview, she faints after finding her portfolio’s contents removed and is taken to the hospital. Later, the doctor calls and says they found high levels of Diazepam in her system. Shortly after returning home, Cecilia finds the same bottle she drugged Adrian with, which she dropped during her escape, in her bathroom.
She arranges a meeting with Tom and James, insisting that Adrian faked his death and used his optics expertise to become invisible in order to torment her, but gets rebuffed. Cecilia turns to her sister, but Emily refuses to acknowledge her after receiving an email from Cecilia’s account stating she never wants to see her again. Later, she is comforted by Sydney, but Sydney is hit by an unseen force, leading her and James to assume Cecilia did it. While a furious James rushes his daughter out of the house, Cecilia tries a number of tactics to catch the figure. After finding Adrian’s old phone in the attic and covering the figure with paint, she ends up in a violent struggle and escapes to Adrian’s home to investigate. In his lab, she finds a suit that confirms her suspicions. After hiding it in a closet, the invisible figure attacks again, so Cecilia flees and contacts Emily. The pair meet in a restaurant, though as Cecilia begins to tell her what she found, the invisible figure slits Emily’s throat with a knife and places it in Cecilia’s hand, framing her for the crime.
Remanded to a mental hospital while she awaits trial, the staff informs Cecilia that she is pregnant. Tom visits her and offers to get her charges dropped if she agrees to “return to him” and raise the child, implying that he helped his brother stage his suicide while revealing Adrian tampered with her birth control to ensure she became pregnant. Cecilia refuses to take the deal and steals a pen from his briefcase. That night, she uses the pen to pretend to commit suicide to draw the invisible figure out. When the figure tries to stop her, she stabs him repeatedly, causing the suit to malfunction. The security team arrive, but the invisible figure violently incapacitates them before fleeing the hospital, with Cecilia in pursuit. Promising not to harm her because of her pregnancy, the figure instead threatens to attack those she loves.
Cecilia races to James’ house, where she finds the invisible figure attacking him and Sydney. She manages to shoot the figure after spraying him with a fire extinguisher, but when she unmasks him, she finds Tom in the suit. Police find a captive Adrian alive at his house, tied up in his basement and claiming Tom held him prisoner. Cecilia quickly disagrees, insisting the brothers must have shared the suit, with Adrian sending Tom to the house knowing what would happen.
In an attempt to get Adrian to confess, she meets him at his house to discuss her pregnancy while James listens in on a wire. She agrees to mend their relationship, but only if he confesses to being the invisible figure. Adrian insists Tom did kidnap him, claiming that the experience changed his outlook on life and how he treated her in their relationship. When she begins to cry, Adrian alludes to former abuse using similar phrasing to that of the invisible figure. Smiling, Cecilia departs to use the restroom. Moments later, the room’s security camera captures Adrian seemingly committing suicide. Cecilia returns and, apparently distraught, calls the police. Out of the camera’s sight, however, she silently taunts Adrian, having retrieved the spare suit she hid earlier to kill him.
When James arrives and asks what happened, she confirms what the camera saw. He spots the suit in her bag, but accepts her story and allows her to leave. Relieved and overjoyed, Cecilia leaves the house with the suit.
- Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia “Cee” Kass
- Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Adrian Griffin
- Aldis Hodge as James Lanier, a San Francisco police detective, Emily’s ex-husband, Sydney’s father and Cee’s childhood friend
- Storm Reid as Sydney Lanier, James and Emily’s teenage daughter
- Harriet Dyer as Emily Kass, Cee’s sister, James’ ex-wife and Sydney’s mother
- Michael Dorman as Tom Griffin, Adrian’s brother and lawyer
- Benedict Hardie as Marc
- Amali Golden as Annie
- Sam Smith as Detective Reckley
- Nash Edgerton as a Security Guard
- Zara Michaels as a Nurse
- Vivienne Greer as Screaming Woman
- Anthony Brandon Wong as Accident Victim
Development of a new The Invisible Man film began as early as 2006 when David S. Goyer was hired to write the screenplay.Goyer remained attached to the project as late as 2011, with little to no further development on the film.
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.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.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.
In January 2019, Universal announced that all future movies film on their horror characters would focus on standalone stories, avoiding inter-connectivity. Successful horror film producer Jason Blum, founder of production company Blumhouse Productions, 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.
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. 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.”
In March 2019, Elisabeth Moss entered early negotiations to star, with her official casting the following month. Storm Reid, Aldis Hodge, and Harriet Dyer later joined the cast, with Oliver Jackson-Cohen set to play the titular role in July.
Principal photography began on July 16, 2019 and ended on September 17, 2019 in Sydney, Australia.
Benjamin Wallfisch composed the music for the film. Back Lot Music has released the soundtrack.
The Invisible Man was theatrically released in the United States on February 28, 2020 by Universal Pictures. It was originally scheduled for release on March 13, 2020, but in August 2019 was moved up two weeks. On March 20, it was one of many films prematurely released to streaming platforms for rent in response to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.
As of March 25, 2020, The Invisible Man has grossed $64.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $59.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $124.5 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross $24–30 million from 3,610 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $9.8 million on its first day, including $1.65 million from Thursday night previews. The film went on to debut to $28.9 million, topping the box office. The film made $15.1 million in its second weekend (dropping 46%, above-average for a horror film) and then $5.9 million in its third weekend. In the film’s fourth weekend, due to the mass theater closures around the country, it made $64,000 from 111 locations, mostly drive-ins.