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Quint on the WOLF MAN footage from COMIC-CON!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a rundown of Universal’s THE WOLFMAN panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Rick Baker sat down to kick things off: “What I did in this film wasn’t all that different from what Jack Pierce did in the original.” Rick Baker Surprise guests: Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro come out and the panel started in earnest before footage was shown.

This is exactly what I typed with the screen brightness turned completely down as it played: Gore, hind legs, “the power of satan to change men into beasts” Same cane head hopkins’ eyebrows are awesome crazy weaving i… woflman chewing on a party goer, ripping an arm off, waking up bloody. “You’ve done terrible things, be strong.” “I am what they say I am, I’m a monster…” hind legs like that of a dog Let’s get a little more detailed… The footage opened with a man in the woods at night, holding a lantern, looking around terrified. There’s a voice over telling the story of the first time someone’s grandfather found a victim of a werewolf, which includes “the power of Satan to change men into beasts.”

We see the man in the woods… he spins around to camera, mouth open… he drops the lantern and the camera follows it down, staying on the ground as we can see the man run off into the background… after a short beat, a wolf’s leg comes into frame, next to the lantern. It’s a dog’s leg, with the backwards knee. Then, as the voice-over continues, we see some gore… a torso, guts hanging out, strewn on the ground, someone melting down a silver platter and pitcher into silver bullets. Then we’re introduced to Victorian era Benicio del Toro, returning home and, in short order, Anthony Hopkins who seems to be playing the character with a crazed gleam in his eye. And, most important, he’s swinging around the original silver-headed cane! How cool! Anthony Hopkins has the line above: “You’ve done terrible things, be strong.” He delivers that to Benicio after he’s woken up, shirt tattered and bloody, hands muddy. Let’s see… we also see Hugo Weaving with a badass muttonchop beard arriving on the scene. Then there’s the mayhem of the last act, pieces of the Wolf Man running around, in silhouette, or just his torso or clawed hands. Looked nice, the claws especially. And he mauls a lady at a party (brightly lit party, no less) his hands on her face, chowing down on her neck/face as she shakes violently and people scream and run. We only saw the wolf face once when he’s leaning in on another character, teeth bared. It was dark, but damn it’s great to see practical effects work like that. Speaking of, one thing that was mentioned on the panel: Baker was asked how the transformation was going to be handled in the movie and he indicated that it would be entirely CGI, that they haven’t shot anything that Baker has built for the transformation. He hopes that they change their minds as he’d love to attack another werewolf transformation in the same vein as American Werewolf In London. UNIVERSAL (CC’d JOE JOHNSTON): Dear People, What the hell are you thinking about? CHANGE YOUR MINDS! Sincerely, Quint Last bit… R Rated? They don’t know, but they noticed the footage looked like it was R rated. Fingers crossed!

That’s it from this panel! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Readers Talkback
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  • July 25, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Victorian era??

    by skimn

    Excellent, we've had enough "modern" takes on the lupine theme.

  • July 25, 2008, 4:41 p.m. CST

    cool man cool

    by superzero

    Was hoping Romanek would've stuck around for this one but hey, sounds good. Lon Cheney Jr's Wolfman sacred the be-jebus out of me as a kid...my dad had it on reel-to-reel (now I got it) and the transformation scene always scared me but I could never not watch it. I'll be there when it opens!

  • July 25, 2008, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Joe Johnson did do nice period work

    by skimn

    on Rocketeer, so thats a plus. This sure sounds like an R. The more I hear about this, the better it's sounding...

  • July 25, 2008, 4:41 p.m. CST

    AICN Pr0n??

    by GBRob08

    Quint ON the Wolfman Sorry. :-D

  • July 25, 2008, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Rick Baker.....

    by giger167

    Yeah let's hire Rick Baker the best practical make up artist probably in the world, who actually wants to film an onscreen transformation, then do it with CGI ?????????? Wouldn't it be cheaper and a million times better just to film it lol. Has the world gone mad. Why can't someone just hire him and Rob Bottin and get a big budget and make the best horror film ever ?

  • July 25, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST

    I'll see this bitches!!!

    by WaylandSmith

    I was a huge Wolf Man fan as a kid and that pretty much includes every werewolf that came along. Which reminds me...any Dark Shadow news these days?

  • July 25, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    and CGI for the transformation...

    by WaylandSmith

    ...better be handled very, very carefully. It's a point of possible suckage.

  • July 25, 2008, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Sure sounds R rated.

    by fiester

    Sounds good though. I am pleased they set it in Victorian time.

  • July 25, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST

    it's R

    by HEADGEEK

    unless it gets cut to shreds

  • July 25, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    The Wolfman...

    by WaylandSmith

    ...has got nards!!!

  • July 25, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Harry - CGI or practical transformations ??

    by bluelou_boyle

    You have info? thanks

  • July 25, 2008, 5:21 p.m. CST

    bluelou_boyle

    by rev_skarekroe

    CGI. He says so right there in the article.

  • July 25, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Furthermore.......

    by giger167

    As an aside to my previous post regarding the need for practical effects on this for a transformation, I looked up Rob Bottin on IMDB and his last movie is listed as 2002 and apparently he is now selling real estate................. I mean WTF. The world really has gone mad I tell you lol. Surely there is still room in the industry for real artists to show their work and be paid for it ??

  • July 25, 2008, 5:27 p.m. CST

    It can work as a combo

    by skimn

    of practical make up and CGI. Didn't Stan Winston combine a lot of that in AI? I can't see Rick Baker turning it over completely to computer.

  • July 25, 2008, 5:30 p.m. CST

    what the fuck is mahalo.com

    by bacci40

    and why are they the only ones posting clips of the con?

  • July 25, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST

    bluelou_boyle

    by HEADGEEK

    I'd love to tell you what you'd like to hear, but I'm under embargo for the information I know from my set visit - but its not exactly what you want to hear anyways.

  • July 25, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Universal Horror & License To Kill

    by web

    In my own worthless opinion, I stil find The Wolfman and The Creature From The Black Lagoon to be the scariest of the "Universal monsters"; I also thought Benicio Del Toro was the creepiest character in License To Kill.

  • July 25, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST

    The transformation....

    by kbass

    better be at least as good as "An American Werewolf In London" or else!!!

  • July 25, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Embargo Shmembargo!

    by kbass

    Let it loose Harry. You know you want to! And when I say let it loose I mean the information.

  • July 25, 2008, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Rob Bottin selling real estate???!!

    by skimn

    Pardon fucking me??? Maybe the effects business got too crowded and cheaper firms prevailed..Hard to believe.

  • July 25, 2008, 6 p.m. CST

    I had the highest hopes for this film, but now I weep....

    by brokentusk

    ... at the thought of what could have been. The moment Mark Romanek left the project and Joe Johnston was hired to replace him; I knew that this film went from being something truly unique and exciting, to something generic – a PG-13 (you’ll see) studio-friendly product. Less art and more entertainment. I genuinely would love to be proven wrong, but I can’t shake the feeling that this will forever be a giant "if only" in the geek community… and it breaks my heart.

  • July 25, 2008, 6:14 p.m. CST

    CGI

    by Durant

    Who's doing the CGI? You can almost map that directly to how effective it'll be. ILM is Abyss, T2, the last Pirates of Caribbean. Rainmaker is I, Robot and TV stuff like Smallville. SPI is Polar Express, Beowulf. Rhythm & Hues is Narnia and Golden Compass. Digital Domain is Transformers and Speed Racer. Crowdsourced to a bunch of guys with Apple IIes, too much free time, and a couple of cases of Modelo was Van Helsing (read as: unholy marriage of ILM and Weta). <p> Is this going to be something like Digital Domain in the hands of a restrained director who listens to Baker? Or is this going to be Van Helsing Part Deux?

  • July 25, 2008, 6:22 p.m. CST

    http://www.thewolfmanmovie.com/

    by SpartanX

    Check out the official site guys, has clear pics of the makeup. Looks impressive! http://www.thewolfmanmovie.com/

  • July 25, 2008, 6:23 p.m. CST

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    by depalma25

    Baker answered the question regarding the transformation scene as if a)he was unaware how bad of the idea of CGI was or b)he is a man exhausted at trying to convince the director that CGI would be a bad idead, and failed. I believe it's the latter. This is a directorial decision. Are there fewer great make-up and animatronic experts working in Hollywood? I've never heard of such a shortage, but it's quite obvious that AWIL was the pinnacle of such an art. I know some editors who don't even know how to cut film, and some cameramen who learned on digital before working on 35mm or even 16mm. Will the genius we saw in AMWIl, The Romero series, The Thing, and The Exorcist become a lost art?

  • July 25, 2008, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Never gotten the appeal of werewolves...

    by MyManD316

    I mean, it's a guy who becomes a wolf-man (man-wolf?) at the full moon. Yaaaaawn. This is just a personal opinion, but they're just boring creatures, lacking the mysterious and cannibilistic appeal of vampires and zombies, and is not grotesque enough to be a real bad ass movie monster.

  • July 25, 2008, 7:36 p.m. CST

    The suits will probably have Brendan Frasier written in.

    by Uncle Stan

    Or they could recast Talbot Sr. with Jack Black (The single biggest fuck-up in Jackson's Kong). If there's a way to screw up this film, they will find it.

  • July 25, 2008, 8:02 p.m. CST

    I don't understand...

    by NiceGuyEddie19

    Why so many people are so concerned about a remake of a movie that was made 50 years before they were born. I mean, the aspect of it being a remake and using CGI. Recognize the era we're in.

  • July 25, 2008, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Saw you on stage with G4, Mori

    by terry1978

    Decent job, though those AOTC jerkoffs are a tad too much for the senses.

  • July 25, 2008, 8:34 p.m. CST

    SoylentMean

    by NiceGuyEddie19

    What the fuck are you talking about, man? You're going to go see this, pay money for the ticket, and call the people who made it thieves? If you don't want to see it, stay home. And as far as makeup stop motion shit being preferred... Christ, it looks like shit compared to CGI. There's a fucking reason studios use CGI. It looks better than shitty ass stop motion crap.

  • July 25, 2008, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Anyone advocating a CGI transformation...

    by C Legion

    give me ONE Werewolf sequence shot entirely in CGI that surpasses, or even gets close to, the "An American Werewolf in London" transformation.<p>What's that I hear? Fucking tumbleweeds.

  • July 25, 2008, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Oh let the CG bashing and gnashing of teeth begin...

    by half vader

    I'm kidding, but here we go again. How many of you know that Baker does great CG modelling as well? How many of you know that he's an advocate of using both together (with makeup you can only add, cg you can take away as well)? How many of you know that he started using both together in 1996 (and that Rob Bottin has done all-cg shitty stuff/worked for Stephen Sommers)? Let's face it, when you were all going hyper-bolic on the Stan Winston TBs 99% had no idea about Winston Digital. I'd give the whining more credence if you guys actually knew what you were talking about or admitted you have no idea. The problem with both the "old-school" (even though most are from the digital age) nuts AND the CG zealots is their bias and complete lack of objectivity. <p> In the absence of real info, why do you think they'd use CG for the transformation anyway? How about movement? The drawback with animatronics is the thing will be relatively rooted to the spot. We've seen that, he's done that before. The drawback with cg is believable mass and gravity, and whether the animators are up to it. <p> My vote is for using BOTH cg AND animatronics for the transformation/s. And when doing the cg, let Baker cast his eye over it and have as much say as Johnston (see Quint? Spell his fucking name right, dammit). The reason Baker's CG modelling is so good is because of that eye and sense of design. <p> As a sort of post-script, remember that the transformation in American Werewolf wasn't done the way Baker wanted either. Ironic about the dinner party attack. I'm crossing my fingers that as Baker has so much love for the Wolfman, that they don't break his heart on this. He's talked about retiring. I reckon if they fuck him over this could be the proverbial last straw. Hopefully Johnston will be wise about it, whatever he decides. He's used both in concert before. <p> Durant, check your facts, for crying out loud. The simplification and errors don't do you any favours. <p> GVR, for once that stupid "INO" stuff works! Wine-o eh? Heh heh. I hope not... <p> <p> And yes, I'm aware I just came off like a complete prat. Just playing Devil's advocate.

  • July 25, 2008, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Outlaw remakes and old ideas . . .

    by WX1

    <p>. . . force the movie industry to create new stuff. For Pete's sake already! This, Journey to the snatch of the Earth, whatever. C'mon! 'Nuff o' d'is already. OH, I don't a silver bullet is discussed in this film, no?</p>

  • July 25, 2008, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Half Vader

    by Durant

    I like intelligent debate - so not a prat at all. Yes, it's a simplification, but it's question moreso - I'm interested to know who's doing the CGI to be able to take a guess based on previous work. CGI isn't the kiss of death, CGI can be seamless - pick any movie you think doesn't use it, because pretty much all of them do these days, and I'm definitely not the guy who says things were always better in 1982. If it's a top-shelf shop, I'm all in. <p> Still like to know what shop and of course would reserve judgment of it until we get a glimpse (since I expect all shops will get better over time)... and my facts are only links from shops to projects, if any are wrong, correct me of course. <p> I'm really interested to know where Baker's done CG modeling (since that's something you mentioned that I didn't know) - would like to evaluate how that turned out...???

  • July 25, 2008, 9:21 p.m. CST

    C Legion

    by half vader

    are you trolling? There are none. But how fucking many are there to choose from? And how moronic is your line of reasoning (let me see where that leads...) - the first novelty-based attempts were shit, so let's not even TRY to do them better, just don't do them at all? Of COURSE those few cg examples were shit! They were all done for the sake of using a shiny new toy, and not done by masters in the field who would bring their practiced eyes and experience to the table. I guess the only caveat would be the Doctor Who one, which was done that way for purely time, budgetary and practical reasons, not because it was 'cool' (they use practical where they can). <p> If your way was the way people like Baker thought we'd still have 'pure' stuff like the original Wolfman and never would have progressed to American Werewolf, with it's 'technology-based' and 'impure' animatronic effects. Remember how Baker was branded a heretic (no, you're probably too young)? Baker wasn't the absolute first to use bladders and mechanisms. History is just repeating itself with cg, that's all. Restrictions in technique or technology may be good for a director, but not for writers. The promise of cg is that writers lose the creative shackles. Which is a good thing. <p> It doesn't seem to matter how much the masters of this sort of stuff say "it's just a tool", fanboys don't want to hear it. Great design and performance is the most important thing, whether it's prosthetics, animatronics, or cg. There was plenty of crap before and after Jack Pierce, plenty of crap before and after Rick Baker, and plenty of crap before and after (digital-age) Phil Tippett. Take a breath, C.

  • July 25, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    ~~~~~BENICIO'S GOT NARDS!~~~~~

    by The Marquis de Side 3

    AY CARAMBA! =0)

  • July 25, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Cool Durant

    by half vader

    Yeah I'd be interested to know what shop, but pleeaase let Baker in there whoever does it is what I say. I'm pulling for Tippett studio, both because they do great cg with believable mass and movement, and secretly it'd be cool to get them together again for (I think?) the first time since Star Wars. <p> As for Baker's cg stuff, do a search on 'monstermaker' for some z-brush and modo stuff. And I bought a cg tutorial he did of an African woman I think at Gnomon. And just by the by, I loved his truly old-school stuff with the jaw on the sheriff in The Frighteners, mixed with the cg midriff. So cool.

  • July 25, 2008, 9:38 p.m. CST

    P.S. Durant

    by half vader

    As far as IMDB is ever accurate (ha!), it looks like Moving Picture Company and Double Negative for visual effects, but who knows if that's anything to do with character animation or not... They're not big companies, although DN did grow alot from Batman Begins to Dark Knight... <p> What WAS cool is they list Kiran Shah! Playing "wolfboy"!

  • July 25, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Oh Emily Blunt..

    by Aeghast

    ..hmm what? sorry.. stopped reading.. hey, is that el Ghe Guevara?

  • July 25, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Oh Emily Blunt..

    by Aeghast

    ..hmm what? sorry.. stopped reading.. hey, is that el Che Guevara?

  • July 25, 2008, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Kiran Shah

    by Durant

    For everyone who thinks Kenyans only have the market cornered on distance running, Deep Roy's also a Kenyan of India descent... <p> HV - Between DK, In Bruges (loved, you can tell where they had to use CG, but you can't tell it's CG), some Abe Sapien, and Stardust (yeah Gaiman, even if the movie itself could have been better) among many others that's don't cry out "this is a computer" - I'd hold out hope for something good from Double Negative...

  • July 25, 2008, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Practical effects!

    by sewiz

    I love all the call for pratical effects...and how it looks better than CGI. C Legion is so right...it is about the design and the passion of the designors. None of the Werewolf cgi transformations have looked good because: 1. The designs of the Werewolves were ass to begin with and 2. The Werewolves themselves were CGI. The longer any effect is on screen the less effective it is likely to be...but here we can have the best of both worlds...and since the look and feel of the monster will be based on Baker's practical design, and the end result will be his (so far) excellent looking make-up, my guess is they have a chance to produce something truly spectacular....Just because something hasn't been done, doesn't mean it can't be done.

  • July 25, 2008, 11:35 p.m. CST

    the transformation in AMIL was just

    by batzilla

    as fake looking as any CGI. Only, a different kind of fake looking. AMIL and the Thing (among others of course) looked like a puppet and the CGI movies look like a computer generated puppet. Big fucking deal. I hate the 'old schoolers" IMO, MOST effects, either practical or digital look FAKE!

  • July 26, 2008, 12:01 a.m. CST

    hmmmm...

    by macheesmo3

    Ya know , the geek side of me longs for ANY practical effects werecritter . But the uberGeek side of me is saddened by the CGI decision. I think that the suits ( or whomever the responsible party is ) needs to be stuck in a theater ( Opera style ) and forced to watch the CGi transformation scenes from Van Helsing until the idea of CGI makes them sick to their stomach. Bottin selling real-estate ? ( sniffle...) I think we movie nerds should join together , pitch in a few bucks , I'll write a screenplay that is completely ridiculous and apeshit crazy fun , we'll get Harry to direct it ( fulfill his lifelong dream in the process I'm sure ) Bottin does all the effects( and he gets carte blanche baby! ) we premiere it at Buttnumathon 15 and make up the costs in dvd sales ! ( of course I get my standard 12% ) :-)

  • July 26, 2008, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Rick Baker wants emily's blunt

    by Prossor

    palpatine guy wants the nanoo

  • July 26, 2008, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Not quite Unknown user

    by half vader

    Rick Baker has had a shop called Cinovation for many years, and from everything I've read over many years, when it comes to 'controlling systems' with levels of complexity beyond cables control, he wisely leaves it to the experts he employs. Your analogy is actually pretty muddy. You've never heard of visual effects supervisors? You give the impression that there's no-one at the helm, which is simplistic and wrong. And besides, if I explained anything at all back there, your post is both redundant and somehow more self-righteous than my own! <p> "Exaggerated anger" eh? I think you ARE tossing it out, as that could either be a (n appropriate) design choice (remember AMiL?), based on the idea that there won't be 1-minute cuts displaying a gamut of emotions in the same damn edit, or left to the 'un=hairy' BDT as the wolf is his manifestation of rage and 'animal' side and again the design would fit the metaphor. Also, have you seen moving footage? Maybe there are a number of heads with different expressions (like 'the old days')? We've seen STILL shots, right? Maybe there IS range? And why in God's name would they be showing anything BUT an 'exaggerated anger' expression at this stage? They're going to show a 'default' or 'at rest' version? Really? Just tossing it out there myself, mate.

  • July 26, 2008, 5:35 a.m. CST

    17 months to Avatar

    by kwisatzhaderach

  • July 26, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    meh

    by ironic_name

  • July 26, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST

    CGI?!!! Mayybbee... not R-Rated?!!

    by OgreYouAsshole

    I guess I'll be waiting even longer for a quality horror picture to come out. High hopes shattered again... sigh. Now when the hell is Trick 'r' Treat coming out again?

  • July 26, 2008, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Why isn't Rick Baker directing?

    by TheNorthlander

    He seriously should think about that.

  • July 26, 2008, 7:04 p.m. CST

    The reason why Rick Baker is not directing

    by whosbrad

    He says so here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=5XiLGnYDtyo

  • July 26, 2008, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Video of the "Wolfman" panel

    by whosbrad

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=DhDpxFx2huQ

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