Sunday, January 31, 2010

My poor Wolfman!

For those who don't know, Guillermo Del Toro and Benicio Del Toro have teamed up to create an authentic remake of the original Werewolf of London for NBC Universal. According to the many rumors, the battle does not go well.

First off, there were rumors of many mishaps along the way. Primary production did not go smoothly or without a hitch. There were rumors of considerable disorganization. All this would mean nothing if Universal had not pushed back the release date for the Wolfman some five times. Reports of the original schedule are somewhat contradictory, but the original release date was supposed to be October 12 2008! Feb 13th 2009 was the next scheduled release date. Aprl 3, 2009 was the next date. November 6th 2009 was the penultimate date. We now have the absolute final delivery date of Feb 12, 2010. That is something like 16 months late.

Why is the movie 16 months late? What the hell has been going on for the past 16 months? Rumor has it that there has been some major wrangling over the final cut of this movie. There are at least two major versions of this film circulating at Universal. The first was scored by Danny Elfman, and it has been thrown out. Evidentally, it did not do well in market tests. Executives believed there were obvious problems in the narrative that needed correction.

To fix these problems, Universal decided to seize control of the project and produce a studio cut of the movie. In the process of fixing this edition of the film, Universal has had three different editors, one of who is famed as a 'rescue editor'. That fellow is Walter Murch, a 911 emergency guy you call--at great expense--when you have a big-budget movie that is in danger of sinking.

Evidentally, the changes Mr, Murch and company made were so substantial, Danny Elfman's musical score no longer fit the picture. Not surprisingly, in 16 months time, Mr. Elfman had moved on to other projects, and could not be recalled to rework his original musical score for The Wolfman. Universal then turned to Paul Haslinger--a fellow I like a lot--to do a fully modern Electronica/Industrial style score.

To make matters worse, we are about 12 days away from the release of The Wolfman, and we have not a single professional review of the movie yet. This means that there have been no early showings for critics. There is still time for them to do this, but we have reason to be wary. This is always a suspicious move. Whenever a studio refuses to do early showings of a film for critics, it means that they are hiding something. Given the history of difficulties and the 16 month tardy release, I would suspect that they have something to hide.

Personally, I am extremely bumbed out by this news. I have usually liked Werewolf movies. I have usually like Guillermo's movies. I was looking forward to this film with great relish. I felt this could be a great movie because of its aparent fidelity to the original by Universal. At this point, the signs are pretty bad. I am greatly concerned that this movie will flop and flop badly. This could compromise Guillermo's ability to make "At the Mountain's of Madness".