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I suppose there’s no small amount of irony here. The original trailer for the upcoming revamp of The Wolfman didn’t work nearly as well as the later, more music video-like version, which featured the sort of pseudo-industrial rock that you might expect to hear accompanying an Underworld or Paul W.S. Anderson movie. Now we’ve learned that Danny Elfman, the original composer for this Wolfman score, has left the project. His replacement? Paul Haslinger, who scored the first and third Underworld movies and Anderson’s Death Race remake.

Cinemusic, via The Playlist, has the scoop on Elman’s departure. The official line that they report is that the lack of Elfman on the finished film will have to do with scheduling conflicts. The film has been pushed back a couple of times, and word is that Elfman couldn’t make the project work with his schedule. The site also speculates that the departure is due to ‘problems with the film,’ based on unspecified rumor. It’s easy to see where those rumors might come from, since the film has seen multiple release delays, but at this point I don’t see that the rumor angle adds anything to the story.

The sad thing here is that Elfman had evidently written and recorded a score already, which Cinemusic reports is “a traditional, grandly gothic effort a la Kilar’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” Really too bad we won’t hear that in the film, but given the nature of the internet I’d be surprised if it didn’t leak out into the world somewhere, sometime. Could even be a legit DVD extra. For some, the fact that the score is already recorded might add substantial fuel to the fireof rumor. Is there a lot of post-production tweaking going on that would require Elfman to do additional score work that he’s not willing to do? Without any more info, the speculation is fairly pointless.

Shame, though, as director Joe Johnston previously said of the composer, “If Danny Elfman does do it, I’m going to basically just let him run loose. I’m going to run the movie for him without music and without the temp track and say, “Do what you have never done before and see what comes out of it.”

Paul Haslinger, meanwhile, will record an all-new score for the film in January 2010.

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