Werewolves have been something of a theme in my life for a couple of years now. My husband had an idea for a werewolf-comedy screenplay in 2005. He has since written several drafts, shot some test material, and we've recently finished a shooting draft which we're considering attempting to shoot this fall. If that doesn't work, it will be next fall. We shot this as a test in 2007 to see if the idea would float.
The Wolfman's Brother
But that's not as far as werewolves go in my life. One of my sisters has recently completed a book, also a werewolf comedy entitled, "Weregrannies", and it's brilliantly funny. We're working together on the finishing touches, editing and what-not, and hopefully I'll be getting a hard copy to her sometime in the next couple of weeks. So I'm spending hours daily with werewolves at the moment, which I am enjoying and which is driving them even further into my psyche.
How we arrived at this common theme is no mystery, my sisters and I grew up watching, "Silver Bullet", "The Howling", "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman", "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (Which has the Wolfman in it.) and all of the classic black and white Werewolf and monster movies. My personal favorite was, and still is 1941's, "The Wolfman" starring Lon Chaney Jr. He is the definitive Wolfman in my eyes.
Jake also grew up loving the idea and managed to mine the myth for metaphors on puberty and family, the resulting script is funny and strangely poignant. More poignant than you would think a werewolf comedy could be really...
So when word got out that Joe Johnston, longtime Spielberg collaborator, was going to be doing a Wolfman film set to release in early 2010, needless to say I was incredibly excited.
You have to understand, monster movies aren't sacred ground the way some other films are. Remakes and sequels to monster movies are par for the course and always have been. The studio system pumped them out at a very quick pace back in the days of the old black and whites, if something was a hit, you can bet you'd be seeing that monster again very soon.
What's so appealing about werewolves? Everything. The very idea that human beings are really monsters just waiting to turn on their fellow humans is an idea riddled with significance and it's not too far from the truth. What's our number one insult to a fellow human? "You're just an animal!" The very thought of a werewolf brings not only deep terror, but also plenty of comic possibilities.
Though there's nothing funny about the upcoming Wolfman remake. It looks to be quite serious in tone. I'm excited about the movie, I'm more than pleased with the casting, but I'm also a little nervous. As a lover of classic monster movies, I was also excited about 2004's "Van Helsing". But that was a big dissapointment to me personally. I was so dissapointed in the movie that I actually lack the energy to even tell you why. I rented it once hoping I was wrong in the theater, but I didn't make it all the way through to the end without realizing that I did in fact hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.
So cross your fingers, brush up on your wolflore, and watch the new trailer here...
"There wolf...there castle."
"Why are you talking that way?"
"I thought you wanted me to."