After a three year lapse, Hugo Weaving will return to the big screen in the remake of The Wolf Man. Hugo’s last movie where he actually appeared was V for Vendetta in 2006, although he also voiced Megatron in Transformers from last year and Noah the Elder in Happy Feet in 2006, but both of those were only voice acting roles (although one could claim the same for V for Vendetta as well). The Wolf Man is a remake of the classic 1941 Universal monster movie that will star Benicio Del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, Anthony Hopkins as his dad Sir John Talbot, and Emily Blunt as the female lead. Weaving joins the cast as Detective Aberline and will start filming next month in London for a February 2009 release.
The film has actually gone through a number of development issues, including the original director, Mark Romanek, leaving just weeks before production was slated to begin due to "creative differences". Joe Johnston (Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, Hidalgo) stepped up and will fill in for Romanek instead. The original script was written by Andrew Kevin Walker but was recently rewritten by David Self (The Haunting, Thirteen Days, Road to Perdition). The budget is reported to be around $85 million and special effects maven Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London, Men in Black, X-Men) is attached to the film as well.
There is no Det. Aberline in the original 1941 Wolf Man, but after doing some research I discovered there was a real life Abberline who was the Chief Inspector for the London Police in the late 1800’s. He was actually one of the prominent detectives involved in the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888. My guess (read: unconfirmed suspicion) is that this new contemporary script features a modern day Detective Aberline who investigates the case of Lawrence Talbot, aka the Wolf Man. Early reports on Walker’s script said that this version apparently has some frightening new twists from the original that includes several new characters, hence Detective Aberline, and plot points to take advantage of new visual effects technology.
To me, Hugo Weaving is somewhat like Daniel Day-Lewis (who is a shoo-in for the Oscar on Sunday). What I mean is that he takes on a very limited number of roles, but in each one he delivers an absolutely stunning and unforgettable performance. Just think of Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy or Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy or V in V for Vendetta. He’s an amazing actor and I mean that with true sincerity. I’m wondering whether this means The Wolf Man may actually be good, because now that he is a part of it, it’s guaranteed that he’ll be one of the best aspects of the remake. Can Joe Johnston really pull it off, even with Weaving involved now, too?