Last week after Mark Romanek quit the $85 million remake of The Wolf Man, names began to drop over possible replacements. Brett Ratner? Ick! John Landis? How strange! Cloverfield’s Matt Reeves? Really?? And now comes word that Joe Johnston has come aboard the project to save the day. And while some are giving Johnston a hero starring credit in this story (yes, he was the guy who designed Boba Fett and won an FX oscar for Raiders of the Lost Ark), am I the only one to remember that this is also the guy who made the horrendous third Jurassic Park film? Or the 2004 Action/Adventure Western misfire Hidalgo?
And the fact that Romanek left the project over creative differences doesn’t inspire blind faith in Andrew Kevin Walker’s screenplay. I mean, what has Walker done anyway? Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hallow? Joel Schumacher’s 8MM? David Fincher’s Se7en! Ah ha! You knew there had to be a hit buried in that filmography somewhere right?
Johnson knows special effects, but aside from transformation sequences, how important will his talents play in this film? Johnson’s October Sky is a pure joy to watch, and is evidence that he (at least at one point) had a knack for directing drama. It should be noted that Romanek supposedly wanted a larger budget. Maybe Johnston’s FX knowledge will help him achieve more with less?
The film has a promising cast for a horror remake, with Benicio Del Toro as the title character, Anthony Hopkins as the title character’s father (read what you will), and Emily Blunt (The Devil Knows…) as the female lead.
Johnston helming The Wolf Man might mean that a fourth Jurassic Park is possibly further out of reach. Oh well…