Universal Pictures, once synonymous with big-screen monsters, isn’t about to let something like the shockingly bad 2010 remake of The Wolfman scare it away from the genre. Instead, it seems, brave executives are reaching for the reset button.
Moviehole reports that the studio had been considering a sequel to the Joe Johnston-directed film, which starred Academy Award winners Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins in a surprisingly lifeless tale of estrangement, secrets, murder and a supernatural curse.
The Wolfman was a critical and commercial disappointment — its worldwide gross didn’t cover its estimated $150-million budget — making the prospect of continuing the story perplexing. Apparently realizing this, executives are shifting gears and rewriting Michael Tabb’s script to make an original film that, Moviehole contends, will be “almost a reboot of the classic Universal monster movie series.”
The rewrite is said to be in progress, with the studio hoping to talk with potential directors over the next couple of weeks with an eye toward filming in the fall.
At this point, we can probably only be sure of one thing: that Johnston, who went on to helm Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger, won’t be returning for the reboot. The Hollywood veteran has been quite candid in discussing want went wrong with The Wolfman, even taking the (silver) bullet for the film’s failings.
“I had three weeks of prep on Wolfman, a ridiculously inadequate amount of time to try to bring together the fractured and scattered pieces of the production,” he explained in January. “I had taken the job mostly because I had a cash flow problem, the only time in my career I’ve ever let finances enter into the decision process. Money is always the wrong reason for doing something that requires passionate devotion. […] The production was a leaky, rudderless ship in a perfect storm suffering from bad decisions, infighting, reluctance of the powers-that-be to take responsibility, and too many under-qualified cooks in the kitchen. The good news and bad news about directing is that when the picture works you’re showered with all the credit and when it doesn’t work you’re dumped on with all the blame. Both scenarios are undeserved. I take full responsibility for The Wolfman not working because it goes with the territory.”