While the 1933 Invisible Man film is a faithful retelling of H. G. Wells’ sci-fi classic, the 2020 remake flips the story on its head by telling it from a completely different point of view.
The original Invisible Man story was a sci-fi horror written by Wells and was serialized by Pearson’s weekly 124 years ago in 1897. Its instant popularity led to it being picked up by publisher C. Arthur Pearson and released as a novel that same year.
It has since gone on to become a significant part of modern popular culture, including the two film adaptions in 1933 and 2020. The novel was also reproduced as a comic book by Classics Illustrated in the 1950s and Marvel Comics in 1976.
The cultural impact of the character led to likeness and references to the character seeming to pop up everywhere, including an episode of the cartoon Tom and Jerry and the song by the world-famous band Queen called The Invisible Man.
There is also an official The Invisible Man slot by NetEnt. The slot is found at several casinos such as LeoVegas and 888, which rank as some of the most trustworthy casinos by sites like legit.org. However, there is no question the versions most people will be familiar with, besides the source material, are the two Hollywood films.
The 1933 retelling was directed by James Whale and produced by Universal Pictures. The idea to turn H. G. Wells masterpiece into a film had been floated since as early as 1931 as it was seen as a good follow up to Dracula, which had proven to be a massive hit for the studio.
In the end, Universal decided to make Frankenstein first, meaning The Invisible Man only hit theatres two years later in 1933. The film is, by and large, a faithful retelling of the original novel and follows the story of Dr Jack Griffin, a mysterious doctor that has discovered the ability to turn himself invisible but is yet to figure out how to reverse the condition.
During the process of trying to find a cure, Griffin is slowly driven insane by his condition as his feeling of superiority over other people leads him to begin performing harmless pranks that eventually escalate to murder.
The film was a massive critical, and financial success for Universal, and praise for the film holds up even to this day, with many modern film critics still listing it among their favourite films in the genre.
The 2020 remake tells the story from a completely different perspective, although some characters are familiar. Adrian Griffin is still a scientist that has figured out the secret to invisibility, except this version of the story follows Cecilia Kass, played by Elizabeth Moss, Griffin’s ex-girlfriend.
She believes that Griffin is stalking her and does not lose her suspicions even after an apparent suicide. Kass eventually figures out that he has managed to make himself invisible. It is a thrilling ride and an intriguing look into the other side of the story, which allowed the writers far more creative license than the first film.
It was also a huge success for Universal Pictures bringing in over $140-million at the box office against a budget of just $7-million. To allow the film to continue its momentum, the studio also made it available for digital rental just three weeks after its theatrical release.
The film also received critical acclaim, with reviewers praising the intelligent narrative and the use of a well-known story to explore the complexities of unhealthy human relationships and how people can be manipulated. Moss, in particular, was praised for her performance in the lead role.
Even though the two films are told from entirely different perspectives, the legacy of The Invisible Man is perfectly captured by both in unique ways, although it’ll probably be easier to get your hands on a copy of the 2020 version.