postFriday, 21 March 2008

The Wolfman Cometh

The first look at the new Wolfman is finally here. While checking out the new big furry, why not take a walk down memory lane at gaze at some of makeup artist, Rick Baker's previous work.

It’s been 67 years since the first Wolfman film and in that time makeup sure has come a long way. Entertainment Weekly has released the first look at the New Wolfman due out February 13 2009.

Universal have pumped an $85 million budget into this horror remake starring Benicio del Toro (Traffic), Anthony Hopkins (The Remains of the Day), Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada).

While director Joe Johnston has no Werewolf experience (unless you count that scene in Jumanji where the boy turns into a dog thing), the same cannot be said for the films special effects makeup artist Rick Baker.

Baker told EW, “[To fans] At least you know that the guy who's doing the makeup in the movie is coming from the same place they are — as a fan. I have a real appreciation for the old Universal classics. The old fanboy in me is jumping up and down here!”

Baker became a makeup artist because of films such as Frankenstein and the 1941 original version of The Wolf Man. His passion for Werewolves is reflected in his resume. Take a look:

The Howling (1981)

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Thriller (The Michael Jackson music video) (1983)

"Werewolf" (The TV series) (1987)

Wolf (1994)

Cursed (2005)

Apart from turning men in to lycans, Barker has also one the Academy Award for Best Makeup six times:

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

Ed Wood (1994)

The Nutty Professor (1996)

Men in Black (1997)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Applying the makeup to Del Toro took about 3 hours and another hour to remove it, which is quick for the type of work. It’s good to see that Barker has remained faithful to the original style and not gone overly giant wolf (al la Van Helsing).

It will be interesting to see what happens next year when this is released as Werewolves seldom do big numbers at the boxoffice. Here is a list of the top grossing modern (1980 – onwards) werewolf films without the ones that also have vampires (Van Helsing, The Underworld films).

1. Wolf (1994) $65,002,597
2. Teen Wolf (1985) $33,086,611
3. An American Werewolf in London (1981) $30,565,292
4. An American Werewolf in Paris (1997) $26,570,463
5. Cursed (2005) $19,297,522
6. The Howling (1981) $17,985,893
7. Silver Bullet (1985) $12,361,866
8. Wolfen (1981) $10,626,725
9. Teen Wolf Too (1987) $7,888,703
10. The Company of Wolves (1985) $4,389,334

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