THR reported on Tuesday that director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) had dropped out of the Universal Studios classic horror remake, The Wolf Man, because of “creative differences” and a dispute over the film’s $100 million budget.
The studio plans to replace the director by week’s end, though it’s unknown whether the film will begin shooting in the UK as scheduled in a few weeks and if it will meet its planned release date of early 2009.
AICN has heard from someone they claim to be “a incredibly reliable source,” that Brett Ratner will be stepping into the director’s chair. Ratner is known for the Rush Hour film trilogy, as well as X-Men: The Last Stand (taking over that franchise from Bryan Singer). There’s been no official word on a new director yet, but, because of the writer’s strike, whoever steps in will have to work with the script that Romanek developed with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (in which case, if it’s Ratner, that won’t be a bad thing).
The Wolf Man will star Benicio Del Toro as the title character, along with Anthony Hopkins as his father and Emily Blunt as his love interest Gwen. Award-winning special effects artist Rick Baker, who won an Academy Award for his make-up effects on An American Werewolf in London, will do the make-up effects on The Wolf Man. As with the 1941 original film (which starred Lon Chaney Jr.), the remake will be set in Victorian England, with Del Toro as a man who gets bitten by a werewolf and then becomes one himself after returning from America to his ancestral homeland.