It's so strange that the "Wolf Man" cast were at Comic-Con in 2008 to promote their movie, confident that they'd made something worth sharing, only to watch as the film lingered for over a year in post-production and eventually went back for reshoots designed to substantively change some of the major creative decisions that attracted the key players to the film in the first place.

Happens, I suppose.

Personally, I like the way this movie seems to have embraced the tragic nature of the Lawrence Talbot character, and if anything, it looks like it's been turned up.  That's a perfect role for Benecio Del Toro, and I would imagine that the father-son stuff between him and Anthony Hopkins is as much a part of the film's appeal as anything involving the monster.

I also really like the casting of Emily Blunt as the love interest, but that's probably because Emily Blunt is both beautiful and underused so far in film.  I'm not sure why film fans aren't more vocal about their regard for this talented and stunning woman... maybe she just hasn't had the right roles yet.  Or maybe no one else saw "Summer Of Love."  Va-va-va-voom, indeed.

I'm interested in the cast even before it comes to the werewolf stuff, so that's a good sign.  Does it all gel into a coherent whole?  Well... here's the trailer.  You tell me:

[more after the jump]

 

 

Looks like "The Wolf Man," huh?

Here's the thing... looking at this trailer tells me that Rick Baker lost his fight on this film, and that saddens me.  Originally, this was designed to be a movie that emphasized the use of practical effects over CGI, and the transformation was designed to be a real showcase of just how far Baker's artistry as come since his Oscar-winning work in 1981's "An American Werewolf In London."

Guess that ain't happenin', eh?

I know I just spent an entire article talking about how much I loved the look of "Avatar," but that's a totally different thing.  That movie was designed from day one to be a film that pushed the envelope in terms of world-building, and obviously, CG is a major tool when you're doing that.

But when it comes to gluing hair onto a dude and putting in some fake teeth, that's where I don't think a computer has to be involved, and especially not when you've got someone who elevates something so basic into genuine art, the way Rick Baker has time and time again over the course of his amazing career.  I have a feeling this is going to be a decent film filled with some frustrating creative decisions, but hopefully, the behind-the-scenes issues won't translate into what audiences see when "The Wolf Man" finally opens on February 12, 2010.

The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday.  Except when it doesn't.

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