The Wolfman: What does the future hold for this classic beast?
Sequel? Reboot? Who Know? One thing is for damn sure though: Benicio must come back as the Wolfman! Read on to hear my thoughts on the Wolfman's cinematic future.
I'm going to start by saying that I know The Wolfman is not a CBM. However, he and the other other Universal monsters are just as iconic as Superman, Batman, And Spider-Man. And I have seen a few pieces on here about the character. So I have decided to share with you my feelings on this character's very uncertain cinematic future.
I have been a fan of Universal and Hammer's monster movies since I was in Kindergarten. I used to rent books about them from the school library and the movies they featured in from Blockbuster on a very regular basis. I can honestly tell you that even to this day, my passion for the monsters has not waned. The Wolfman in particular was my favorite of them.
However in recent years, The Wolfman and werewolf and other monster movies have not done so well. Today's horror scene is dominated by slasher flicks and torture porn. These movies are ok, but deep inside, the little kid in me who grew up on classic monster movies has really been clamouring for a return of the original horror kings.
It does not help that in the past few years, movies revolving around these monsters do not portray their stories as being horrific. Werewolf movies in particular have suffered greatly. Underworld while decent was really the matrix with vampires and werewolves. Cursed was Scream with a werewolf instead of Ghostface and Twighlight was a high school soap opera that tried to look legit by looking like an indie film. The next abomination set to rear it's ugly head is MTV's Teen Wolf. Thank good Being Human(UK and America) is not crap!
But I'm getting off topic. As I said before, I grew up on The Wolfman and his monstrous peers, and I have wanted nnothing more than to see him get his due in a new film. After a false start(Van Heling), I was pretty pumped when I heard that Bencio Del Toro, a life long fan and great actor announced that he would produce and star in a remake. I was overjoyed to say the least. Then things got rocky for the film and fast too. First Mark Romanek who was slated to direct the film dropped out, prompting Universal to hire Joe Johnston as an 11th hour replacement. To make matters worse, Johnston was only given three weeks to prep the movie before shooting began. Then after several release dates were missed, the movie was in need of reshoots. I was geeting pretty nervous that the awesomeness of my favorite monster was getting squandered.
Finally, in Febuary of 2010, the movie came out and my friends and attended a midnight showing. I came out of the movie pretty happy. Despite the film's production missteps, and a sometimes rush plot, I felt that the film had captured the feel of the old horror movies. Everything was there that the old ones had. An atmospheric setting? Check! Dramtic music? Check! Suspicious and angry villagers? Check! Tragic ending? Check! Plus the movie had some seriously awesome gore and great transformations. Of course there were some corny elements. The werewolf mixed martial arts fight scene towards the end. Not needed at all.
Unfortunately though, the movie was not as big of a hit with other movie goers and reviewers as it was with me, and ticket sales really took a hit. I did what I could to help out and returned for a second viewing. But it did not help. The movie tanked and badly too.
A few months later, I found an article on here claiming that while a theatrical sequel was not happening, a direct to video sequel or reboot was in the works. I was a little disapointed to say the least, but not surprised. The movie did not perform well in the theaters and there was no way Universal could justify a sequel after the results of this latest effort. But still a direct to video sequel meant I would get more of the character, so I was ok with that. At the same time though, I was not at all ok with it. Despite his passion for the character, I highly doubted Del Toro would return, nor would Hugo Weaving who recieved the Wolfman's bite at the end of the film, or Emily Blunt. A direct to video sequel would be a srious downgrade for any of these actors.
Then yesterday, I read online that the direct to video sequel had been scrapped and the character would likely be getting a reboot. Again I was conflicted with my feelings about this news. Sure, it meant another Wolfman story, but it also meant no continuation of the remake's story. And unfortunately, Universal is likely to go with a new actor in the lead role.
With all of this being said, I have had my thoughts on both how a sequel and a reboot could work. Here are my ideas. In the original movie, the main character Lawrence Talbot, who was visiting his father in their home town, was bitten by Bela the gypsy, who was a werewolf. After managing to survive the attack and kill Bela, Lawrence himself became a werewolf and terrorized the locals of his village before his father clubbed him to death at the film's end. In the sequal Frankenstein meets The Wolf Man, though, Lawrence was revived bu the light of the full moon when grave robbers broke into his tomb. The remake went in a different though. While still being an outsider returning to visit his father, a few things changed. In this version, it was revealed that Lawrence's father was bitten by a young wild boy who was in fact a werewolf during a hunting trip to India, and in turn it was he who bit Lawrence in this version. Lawrence also learns that his father was also responsible for killing his mother and brother as a werewolf. Towards the film's end, both father and son transform and fight, ending in the elder werewolf being killed by Lawrence. Lawrence then chased the film's love interest to a brook where she tried to plead with the man part of Lawrence, before ultimately being forced to shoot him through the heart with a silver bullet. Now both the cast and the director expressed an interest in seeing Hugo Weaving's character Inspector Francis Aberline become the main character for the sequel, since he recieved a bite at the end. I however envisioned a differnt path for a sequel with Lawrence being revived by muggers opening his tomb and being exposed to moonlight.
From there, the movie would focus on Lawrence reuniting with Emily Blunt's character and then traveling to India to see if he could track down the werewolf who turned his father, and maybe a cure. When he finds the original werewolf, he turns out to be Bela. Now I know that in the remake Bela does not appear, but Maleva, who was his mother in the original film does. Now in the remake, Maleva is quite old, just as she was in the original, and since gypsies are a traveling people, I don't think it would be a stretch to have had her live in India at some point and have had a son. Why he was not in the original film could explained easily. Once Bela, learned of his curse, he told Maleva to abandon him, and in the sequel since much time has passed since Lawrence's father was bitten by him, he could now be a grown man. Introducing him would be a nice nod to the fans of the original. And as for the cure, that Lawrence would be looking for, well I would look to a film that Universal made before making The Wolf Man called Werewolf of London. In it, the afflicted werewolf tries to control his curse by pricking himself with a flower that bloomed under the light of the full moon. Also in this film, the main character had to contend with the werewolf who bit him and was stealing the flowers to cntrol his own transformations. This is where Aberline would come into play. Being a werewolf has forced him to take leave from being a police inspector to tend to his condition, and upon learning of Lawrence planning a trip to India, follows him and ries to find the flowers before before he does.
If the new film is a reboot, then I would say, try going for a more modern feel. No one has ever really accomplised a modern scary werewolf story since The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, and a few others, and it would be nice to see the classic story of the original film given a major update. Hire a better writer and maybe a new director, and I think the movie could fare very well.
Of course, either way, on thing must remain. Benicio Del Toro as the Wolfman should return. The man has so much love for the character, that I think it would be sad to see him cast aside just because the studio feels his ivolvement might hurt the new version. I think that with a well written script and a great director, the movie would really be great this time around(nothing against Joe Johnston or the overall remake, the studio sqaundered a lot of the films's potential). And Benicio's return would be more than justified. Look at movies, like Ghost Rider and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Both were panned by critics and fans alike, but both are getting new films that are reboots or stand alone stories that will not acknowledge the previous movies. And despite being reboots and stand alone stories, both movies have the actors who played the main character in the originals returning. Now granted these 2 movies made a lot more than The Wolfman, but still, Benicio should get another shot. It's not fair if he is cast aside.
So those are my thoughts. I know it is a long winded piece, but I love this character, and really want what is best for him. Leave your thoughts below,
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