I remember when The Wolf Man was announced as a vehicle for Benicio Del Toro, with One Hour Photo director Mark Romanek at the helm, I was excited. It had the potential to be a stylishly creepy movie. If you've seen One Hour Photo, just picture the clean, stark look of the Sav-Mart (a look also present in many of hus music videos), and then picture it being corrupted by something as uncontrollable as turning into a werewolf. In 2007, Romanek already had at least two collapsed film follow ups to Photo behind him (the Tom Hanks thriller Cold Case and the ill-fated adaptation of James Frey's A Million Little Pieces), so I was anxious to see him make a movie, especially something I could see working so well.
Predictably, creative differences led to Romanek leaving the project, and Universal, in their infinite wisdom, replaced him with Joe Johnston, director of Jurassic Park III. It's not that I think Johnston sucks as a director, it's just that he has no discernable style, he's a workman, not an artist. Clearly the studio had no idea how much of a buzz-builder Romanek really was (or how much of a buzz-killer Johnston would prove to be), but The Wolf Man pretty much dropped like a rock off of everyone's radars at that point. Even a disreputable director like Brett Ratner would have been a better choice as far as promoting the movie goes; imagine how much more you would have heard about the movie in the last year if Ratner was directing it. They premiered a teaser at Comic-Con 2008 that, as far as I know, was never officially posted online, and didn't even bother showing up at Comic-Con 2009.
CHUD is reporting that Universal has just bumped The Wolf Man to February 12th, 2010. Ho, hum. Who knows, maybe Joe Johnston will have directed a surprisingly good movie. But by that point, will anyone care?