Director Leigh Whannell's film opens Feb. 28.
What’s it like to make a movie when you can’t actually film the titular character? Leigh Whannell, the writer and director of the latest version of The Invisible Man (out Feb. 28), knows firsthand.
“The interesting thing was that I was constantly shooting these empty rooms, and empty corridors, and there’s something a bit uncinematic about that,” laughs the filmmaker. “I mean, when you make a movie, the idea is that you put people in the frame — you put something in the frame. When you’re shooting nothing, it goes against the grain of every cinematic instinct you have!”
In The Invisible Man, Elisabeth Moss plays Cecilia Kass, who is trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, portrayed by Oliver Jackson-Cohen from The Haunting of Hill House. Cecilia escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge), and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid). But when Cecilia’s abusive ex dies by suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, she 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 image of the Invisible Man in the floating trench coat and the floating sunglasses is one that is clearly etched into the public consciousness,” says Whannell, who wrote the original Saw and wrote and directed last year’s Upgrade. “I wanted to kind of get away from that and make something that was really modern, really grounded, or as grounded as you can be when you’re dealing with a film called The Invisible Man. Just something that was really tense and scary in a way The Invisible Man hasn’t been before. There are some great actors in the film, Aldis Hodge and Storm Reid from A Wrinkle in Time, these are the supporting cast, and they’re such great performers. Having said that, the script is really a one-woman show. Elisabeth Moss is the centerpiece of the film, and she’s in pretty much every scene. I feel like, if you’re going to hang an entire film on someone’s shoulders, you need an actor as good as Lizzie.”
Watch the trailer for The Invisible Man, above.