From the studio that brought you a bunch of “Bring It On” sequels and “Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball” comes “Untitled Werewolf Thriller,” a direct-to-DVD (and Blu-ray and On Demand) movie that will trod the same territory as last year’s Academy Award-winning talent suck, “The Wolfman.”
Directed by Louis Morneau (“Joy Ride II,” “Hitcher II: I’ve Been Waiting,” the 1999 Lou Diamond Phillips-starrer “Bats”) and starring Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea (Neil Jordan needs to get this guy work), “Untitled Werewolf Thriller” is “set in an unnamed 19th century European village where a werewolf attack draws bounty hunters, thrill seekers and charlatans.”
It’s a relief that the filmmakers are addressing the lack of charlatans in the 2010 “The Wolfman,” but we’re still skeptical about this one. Universal must be assuming that people who rented “The Wolfman” are the sort who’ll also rent “Untitled Werewolf Thriller.” At first glance, the decision could have looked like an attempt on Universal’s part to reuse old sets from the 2010 “Wolfman,” but that is unlikely as “Werewolf” is shooting in Bucharest, Romania, and “Wolfman” was shot primarily in England.
So then, why hasn’t Universal been doing these 'Wolfman' direct-to-DVD movies for years? For one thing, Benicio Del Toro’s 'Wolfman' was in development for a while. The studio was no doubt hoping that when the film eventually came out, it would reboot the 'Wolfman' series and any sort of inferior version of that famous character would have lowered the demand for a $150 million feature. But now that it’s all gone to hell, executives are basically saying, “Let’s cash in and just make a few bucks from rentals and accidental truck stop purchases.” Plus, for all its failures, the 2010 'Wolfman' still made millions of dollars and boosted a classic character’s profile.
More power to the suits. If a little extra coin will give Universal the confidence it needs to continue greenlighting projects like “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,” we encourage them to go right ahead and do it. That is, as long as Justin Lin doesn’t convince the studio to use their “Untitled Werewolf Thriller” profits to extend his upcoming two-part “Fast Five" sequels into a trilogy. Anyway, "Needs A Title Already Wolfman Movie" will arrive in time for Halloween in October 2012. Scary indeed. [THR]