Actor Hugo Weaving (V For Vendetta, The Matrix) is set to star as Detective Aberline for director Joe Johnston in The Wolf Man. Weaving will join a cast that includes Anthony Hopkins (as the Wolf Man’s father), Benicio del Toro (as the Wolf Man) and Emily Blunt (as the love interest). This is the first bit of casting news for the big budget remake of the 1941 horror film since the original director, Mark Romanek, abruptly left at the end of January over budget issues. Romanek had spent a few years working to bring the film to the screen with del Toro, and now Variety reports that Johnston has had David Self (Road to Perdition, The Haunting) do a rewrite of the script by Andrew Scott Walker. A little curious.
Weaving is the guy to go to for classier event films like this and he definitely boosts the movie’s chances of being a creative success. But Johnston, who previously directed Hidalgo, Jumanji and Jurassic Park III, inspires nothing. He has a surprising number of defenders online, but to me, this is the equivalent of hypothetically never seeing Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. Would this lavish project have happened with Johnston on board originally? No. And such a thought will be in the back of my head for sometime, perhaps even while watching the film in February ‘09, if applicable. Romanek hasn’t updated the news page on his official website in years; you have to wonder if he’ll ever open up about what happened.