- Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin, Art Malik, Elizabeth Croft, David Sterne, Sam Hazeldine, Branko Tomovic, Olga Fedori, Michael Cronin, Nicholas Day, Emily Parr, Bridgette Millar, Simon Merrells, Richard James, Dianne Pilkington, Cristina Contes, Anthony Debaeck, Solana Talbot, Shaun Smith, Andy Gathergood
- Director: Joe Johnston
- Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self
- Producers: Sean Daniel, Benicio Del Toro, Scott Stuber, Rick Yorn
- Executive Producers: Ryan Kavanaugh, Bill Carraro, Stratton Leopold
- Art Direction: Andy Nicholson
- Casting: Priscilla John
- Costume Design: Milena Canonero
- D.O.P.: Shelly Johnson
- Editors: Walter Murch, Dennis Virkler, Mark Goldblatt
- Makeup: Rick Baker
- Music: Paul Haslinger
- Production Design: Rick Heinrichs
- Set Decoration: John Bush
Inspired by the classic Universal film that launched a legacy of horror, "The Wolfman" brings the myth of a cursed man back to its iconic origins. Oscar® winner Benicio Del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, a haunted nobleman lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father (Oscar® winner Anthony Hopkins), Talbot sets out to find his brother... and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself.
Lawrence Talbot's childhood ended the night his mother died. After he left the sleepy Victorian hamlet of Blackmoor, he spent decades recovering and trying to forget. But when his brother's fiancée, Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt), tracks him down to help find her missing love, Talbot returns home to join the search. He learns that something with brute strength and insatiable bloodlust has been killing the villagers, and that a suspicious Scotland Yard inspector named Aberline (Hugo Weaving) has come to investigate.
As he pieces together the gory puzzle, he hears of an ancient curse that turns the afflicted into werewolves when the moon is full. Now, if he has any chance at ending the slaughter and protecting the woman he has grown to love, Talbot must destroy the vicious creature in the woods surrounding Blackmoor. But as he hunts for the nightmarish beast, a simple man with a tortured past will uncover a primal side to himself... one he never imagined existed.
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Filming Locations: London, UK
- MPAA Warning: Bloody horror violence and gore
- Production Budget: $85 million
- Production Companies: Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Stuber Productions, Camp / Thompson Pictures
- Production Schedule: March 2008 - June 2008
2010 Guide Analysis: Delays of well over a year, crew changes galore during production, reshoots, dodgy visual effects, and a tone that was still undecided throughout post-production. Whatever the eventual result on screen, nothing can compare to the behind-the-scenes problems with Universal's $85 million remake of the classic 1941 Lon Chaney monster movie.
Early on everything seemed to go fine. Benicio Del Toro signed on right from the start while "One Hour Photo" helmer Mark Romanek became attached in early 2007 and spent nearly a year with the project, developing it for a planned shoot in late 2007. Then the delays started. Romanek dropped out due to 'creative differences' with several names from Frank Darabont and Bill Condon to Brett Ratner and Martin Campbell expressing interest before Joe Johnston ("Jurassic Park III," "Hidalgo") finally came onboard. David Self was hired to re-write Andrew Kevin Walker's script
Filming got underway in the second-quarter of 2008 in the UK and according to reports things actually went well. Makeup guru Rick Baker helped create the wolf designs with del Toro who endured three hours of make-up daily for his scenes as the beast. Baker however was vocally upset that the transformation scenes from man-to-beast would be entirely computer animated and thus wouldn't be as realistic had some practical elements been involved as well.
A presentation at Comic Con in 2008 showed some impressive old school style horror footage which sadly didn't go over as well as the studio hoped with the crowd and other web critics I talked to. Release date delays ensued with the film pushed back to late 2009. It was May last year however that things changed again as Dark Horizons first broke word from legendary stunt director Vic Armstrong that reshoots were underway in the UK which were to incorporate more computer-animated wolf action into the film.
How extensive those reshoots were to this day remain a mystery as the official and unofficial reports notably differ. The film was delayed again to February 2010. A first trailer came out to modest reaction, causing a second more rock-heavy preview to quickly get pushed out and scored a better response. Mark Goldblatt and Walter Murch were hired to re-edit the film after the original cut didn't go well, talk stirred up of two alternate cuts (a PG-13 and an R) which the studio denied. Composer Danny Elfman left the film, replaced by Tangerine Dream's Paul Haslinger.
Even now with a month to go, no-one seems quite sure what the end product will be. Universal has proudly publicised the film's R-rating for violence and gore, something that seems like pandering to the torture porn crowd considering the Universal Monsters were always much more about atmosphere than splatter. The casting is fine, Weaving in particular looks pitch perfect with his mutton chops, but every day this sounds more and more like a 'what could've been' project. What initially set out to be a rich, classy throwback to a once great genre may have become a cheap, CG effects-heavy, gory bit of nonsense. I truly hope I'm wrong and what's there will surprise everyone, but we won't know until the first reviews start popping up towards the end of the month.