The announcement that Elisabeth Moss would front a new take on The Invisible Man prompted two immediate questions: How connected would this be to the Invisible Man of Universal Classic Monsters fame? And, "People are always asking, 'Are you the Invisible Man? What's happening here?'" Moss told ET's Ash Crossan.
Now that The Invisible Man is in theaters, we have the answers.
We're about to get into major spoilers for "The Invisible Man."
"It's like, 'No, I'm a girl [and] he's terrorizing me," Moss laughed in answer to her own question. Which is true -- she plays Cecilia, the abused wife of the titular invisible man -- but if people had asked Moss, "Are you the Invisible Woman?", well, the answer is a bit more involved.
Like H. G. Wells' 1897 novel and the 1933 film adaptation, this The Invisible Man concerns a scientist whose life's work in the field of optics leads him to inventing a way to turn himself invisible. Here, he is Adrian Griffin (played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a modern monster reimagined as a sociopathic Silicon Valley genius who creates an invisibility suit he uses to terrorize Cecilia.
Over the course of the movie, Cecilia's sanity is constantly called into question by those around her -- who go so far as to have her locked in an institution -- and even when she finally confronts her invisible attacker and removes his mask... it's not Adrian, but his brother. Adrian, we're told, was being held captive in his own basement the whole time and controlled by said sibling.
Cecila refuses to believe this, though, and, wearing a wire, goes to Adrian's house with the intention of convincing him to admit what he's done. When he won't confess outright, she leaves the room, puts on the second invisible suit she'd stowed away earlier in the film and returns unseen to slit Adrian's throat. Cecilia exits with the suit and closure that it had, in fact, all been of his doing.
But if viewers don't listen carefully -- to Adrian's purposeful use of the word "surprise" -- you may leave the theater wondering whether Adrian really was innocent or if Cecilia was, once again, being gaslit.
"Well, what did you think?" Moss countered inquisitively when asked how she interpreted the ending. Naturally, we believe Cecilia. "And that was important to us to map out really carefully. There's a small period when she thinks, 'Am I crazy? I could be wrong about this.' Then we very carefully put things in place so you are with her, so you believe her through the story, so you're on her side, so you know that she's right."
"For me, I wanted it to be something cathartic, something where the audience could walk away feeling like there was some sense of catharsis and victory," director Leigh Whannell weighed in. Jackson-Cohen, meanwhile, is glad to play into the ambiguity. "It is about gaslighting and so we wanted to do it as honestly as possible and this is how people like that operate... That's what is ultimately so terrifying about Adrian, there is not a single part of him that can be trusted."
The ending seemingly wraps up Cecilia and Adrian's story, though it leaves the door open to a follow-up with Cecilia as the Invisible Woman. Yet while Universal Picture is indeed developing an Invisible Woman movie, it has nothing to do with this. "The title is kind of misleading," Whannell admitted. "I'm assuming they'll change the title at some stage?"
That project is an original pitch from Elizabeth Banks that she will reportedly direct and star in, wholly unconnected to this take on The Invisible Man, Moss or Blumhouse.
"The Invisible Woman has nothing to do with the H. G. Wells story. That's just the title of a film, and I do happen to know what that film is about, but it has nothing to do with our thing. Just to clarify," Moss said, letting out a laugh. "I actually asked the question as well, because I was like, 'Well, I have the suit. What's happening here?'"
Still, neither Moss nor her director is ready to discuss sequel prospects quite yet. "There is obviously an ending that allows for that, but at the same time, you can't think about that. We just want people to enjoy this film," Moss said.
"I'm so superstitious about the success of a film," Whannel explained. "I don't want to jinx it by talking about sequels. I feel like there's movie gods looking over us and I'll anger them if I start talking about the sequel. After the movie's come out and a little bit of time has passed, maybe I'll think about that."