As many of you may know, I've been avidly following the Wolf Man remake almost since day one of The Vault of Horror. I held it up as my shining example of a "good remake", and anxiously awaited the Del Toro/Hopkins/Baker goodness to come... But... sigh... I believe it may be time to throw in the towel and give up hope. I'm callin' it.
Too soon, you say? Don't pre-judge, you admonish? Have you been following this thing as closely as I have?
First, there was the ominous debacle involving the walkout of original director Mark Romanek. It was ugly, regardless of how Universal tried to smooth it over. Folks, a director walking out is always a bad thing. On top of that, the main reason he supposedly walked was the limitations he perceived in the film's $100 million budget (yes, we're living in a world where a $100-million budget for a movie is pedestrian). News flash: the budget of the film as it currently stands is now $120 million and rising. Doh!
Worst of all is the reason why the movie has gone so far over-budget. That's right, it's that other thing you never want to hear: Re-shoots. Extensive ones. Expensive ones. Said re-shoots are rumored to be related to a lack of producer confidence in the creature as designed by Rick Baker. You know, those designs that had the entire internet abuzz with rampant ecstasy. Leave it to the stuffed shirts to screw things up.
You see, they were bothered by the humanoid wolf-man creature seen in the film--you know, the one that actually resembles the Lon Chaney original? Yeah, they wanted something more wolf-like, running around on all fours. Kind of like in An American Werewolf in London--aaaannd basically every werewolf movie made in the last 30 years... So the one thing that made the Wolf Man the Wolf Man... is now being rethought by spineless money men.
And there's one other item that has me crying in my Maker's Mark over this whole catastrophe. You've all heard that the movie has been bumped from November to February of next year, I'm sure. But do you know the reason why (other than the re-shoots)? Let me enlighten you. Universal is also releasing New Moon in November, two weeks after the original Wolf Man release date. And it looks like they were afraid a movie about a werewolf might cut into the profit of their pristine cash cow, which also features werewolves... As if we needed another reason to hate Twilight.
This thing has grade-A turkey written all over it, I'm afraid. And believe me, it pains me to say that. This is a grave I'm not dancing on, but rather hurling myself upon and screaming, like an Italian grandmother. I'm also sure that the good people over at Marvel can't be too jazzed, since Joe Johnston, the replacement director, is scheduled to do their Captain America movie next. At this point, we'll be lucky if it's better than that 1990 version with J.D. Salinger's son wearing fake ears...
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