What's happening with Benicio Del Toro's 'Wolf Man'?
The release of Benicio Del Toro's long-gestating horror remake 'Wolf Man' has been pushed back even further
The release of Universal Pictures' long-gestating remake of the 1941 horror classic ‘The Wolf Man’ has been delayed yet again. The film, which stars Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, was originally due to come out in spring of this year, but was then pushed back to November. Now we’ve learned that the film won’t actually reach our screens until February 2010.
None of which means the film is necessarily going to be bad. The first trailer – which screened as part of a Comic-Con panel in 2008 and was subsequently bootlegged online – looks pretty gripping, with Del Toro, Hopkins and Emily Blunt in full Victorian garb, lots of eerie, mist-shrouded wolf attacks and outrageous bloodshed. Both the star and director Joe Johnston (‘Jurassic Park 3’, ‘Jumanji’) have talked extensively and convincingly about their vision for the film, pitching it as old-school Universal horror thrills coupled with dark-edged modern psychodrama.
But the film seems to have had its share of hitches. Original director Mark Romanek (‘One Hour Photo’) walked before shooting even started, citing the film’s $100 million budget as the stumbling block. That budget has subsequently grown, as the studio suggested that Johnston, a rather leftfield choice to replace Romanek, reshoot some scenes during post-production.
‘The Wolf Man’ was always a fairly risky prospect: the public’s appetite for old-fashioned horror seems to have waned in recent years, replaced by a desire for hi-tech comic-book thrills. Del Toro is hardly a megastar, and the box office accrued by his recent ‘Che’ films has been disappointing. And the film certainly looks like fairly intense, even cheerless viewing – a good sign for those of us who prefer a bit of grit in our blockbusters rather than wimpy ‘Van Helsing’ frippery, but a hard sell for a major studio, even following ‘The Dark Knight’.
Despite these reservations, anticipation for the film remains high. Let’s hope Del Toro and Johnston can utilise this extra time to produce what could conceivably be one of next year’s multiplex highlights: a full-blooded, heart-in-the-mouth horror blockbuster.
Author: Tom Huddleston
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