It must have been a busy week for the guys at Universal. When Mark Romanek dropped out of directing The Wolfman, it seemed that every unemployed director in Hollywood was approached to direct the feature, as staff scrambled around to stop the project from falling apart.
Everyone from the universally loathed Brett Ratner (geddit- universally) to fan favorite John Landis, director of An American Werewolf in London were mooted.
And the man who will end up with his name on the directors chair? Drum roll please… Jurassic Park III helmer Joe Johnston.
What an anti-climax.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against him, but Johnston’s work just isn’t that exciting. He is very much a journeyman director who can hand in a capable film, but his work isn’t known for its style. Johnston has a solid filmography that shows that he’ll be able to handle the visual effects and bring the film in on time and on budget – something Romanek appeared to have problems with.
Films on his resume include: Jumanji, The Rocketeer, Honey. I Shrunk the Kids, October Sky and Hildago.
I was hoping that we’d get a really cool director for this project. Part of me was hoping that Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon would direct the film, but that wasn’t to be.
It’s easy to see why an A-list director hasn’t signed on to this… they’d be taking over Romanek’s work, and most top directors wouldn’t be happy to do this, without making at least some changes.
It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out. I’m sure that nobody is going to be outraged by this signing, but I can’t see anyone celebrating either (well, maybe Johnston and his agent).
The film starts production in March and it is released in February 2009.
I will, as always keep you posted on developments.