The Wolfman Backed Up….Again.

Possibly the last time you see this image

Possibly the last time you see this image

Yes. The relase date for the Benicio Del Toro/Rick Baker project has been moved back again. The Examiner tells it like it is:

The film, which stars starring Academy Award winners Benicio del Toro (“Traffic”) and Anthony Hopkins (“The Silence of the Lambs”) was supposed to open in February 2009. Then it was pushed back to April 2009. Then it was pushed back to November 2009. Now, it’s back to February…2010.

More precisely: February 12, 2010 for those fans who would like to circle their calendars again (if they happen to have a 2010 calendar already) although they should probably use a pencil this time around.

The reasoning behind the move seems simple. Universal didn’t want to compete with the latest installment of the Twilight series, but Geoff Boucher of the LA Times’ Hero Complex blog says looks can be decieving.

Some reports suggest that Universal wants a bit of space between its supernatural thriller and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which opens on Nov. 20 with its own brand of snarling werewolves. That sounds like fuzzy logic to me: If the R-rated “Wolf Man” had two weeks on its own at theaters to win over moviegoers, why worry about a vampire film that is aimed at much younger film fans?

I agree with this. Even if Universal did acknowledge the fact that they were serving a different demogrpah, the move would look silly. Movies have the natural lifespan of two weeks. Even if they didn’t move it, New Moon wasn’t going to cut into their profits that much. Their losses would have been as high as the 500k rage and most of that would have mostly been from the matinee.

David Bentley, Coventry Telegraph’s Geek Files blogger also puts out another reason that it could be pushed.

According to The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye, the filmmakers were debating whether the creature will walk on two legs like a man, or on all four like a wolf.

“The Wolf was on its heels and it looked daft,” an actor involved in the movie told the newspaper.

It adds that “filmmakers spent six weeks shooting new scenes which saw a tougher, fiercer creature bounding around – and ready to attack on all fours.”

Shooting the additional scenes involved director Joe Johnston, although the bulk of the work was done by Vic Armstong, the veteran stuntman turned second-unit director who worked on Raiders Of The Lost Ark and James Bond pictures.

The Daily Mail adds that Armstrong devised “a great confrontation between the Wolf Man and the Werewolf. They really go after each other and it’s dramatic and exciting, whereas the stuff they shot first time round was limp.” (I’m not entirely sure what that means, as a Wolf Man is generally the same as a werewolf).

A crew member said: “The two stunt guys inside the costumes were exhausted, as Vic just had them doing the scene again and again until he was happy.”

Vic Armstrong is a guy who knows what he talks about. While he’s one of the greatest stuntmen in the biz, he’s also had experience with werewolf movies as he was in the suit during the shooting of John Landis’ American Werewolf In London. If he says your stuff is limp….well, you might want to look for another line of work.

Secondly, if they’ve decided to make the werewolf quadrupedal, then I’m going to feel really bad for  Rick Baker. This was his ubber project. His grand homage to the father of Makeup effects, Jack Pierce. Having rework the werewolf is not only a slap on his vision of the Wolfman, but also the slap on the way he wanted to remember his idol.

There is also talk that moving this picture to February is no big deal at all and that time of the year always draw big crowds. Some even cite Friday The 13th as proof.  Two problems though. Even with the so called “three day weekend” of Valentine’s Day, the blatant truth is that February is the pinnacle of the dump season. People with less income are going to be very selective with their money. Also, To use Friday The 13th as an example is borderline retarded since 80% of the public that could have matched the premier week never shown up the secondary week. If The Wolfman were to debut at this date, They’d lose viewership to Hot Tub Time Machine.

Then again, we don’t know if they’ll keep at this date. With Universal already moving the date of the movie three times already, I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie was moved yet again, possibly to April. Whatever buzz and excitement this movie had is already gone and one more move will make everyone forget about it. We could be looking at another Trick r Treat incident here.

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