Features | Written by Animal Johns 14/07/2020

The Wolfman: How Will the New Take Differ From the Original?

Universal has given the green light to some interesting projects related to its classic line-up of monsters in the last couple of years, but the news that Ryan Gosling looks set to star in a remake of The Wolfman is particularly eye-catching.

Now, with Deadline reporting that Leigh Whannell could be in line to direct the project, it is highly likely that anticipation around the movie will only build further.

A part of our culture

It is perhaps not a major surprise to see Universal revisiting the famous beast. After all, the studio is seemingly undertaking remakes related to all of its well-known monsters, with The Hollywood Reporter confirming earlier this year that Dracula is in the pipeline as well.

In addition, werewolves have been part of our culture for many years, as History.com explains how the creatures made appearances in many ancient tales including Nordic folklore and Greek mythology. Fast forward to the present and they continue to have lots of impact, with them notably having a key role in the hugely popular Twilight series of books written by Stephenie Meyer. The creatures also feature in the upcoming Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood video game, while Mr Vegas online casino offers a werewolf-themed slot, the Wolf Hunters slot, as well. These beasts seem to be everywhere.

But while interest in werewolves in general remains very high, just what can we expect from the new take on The Wolfman and how might it differ from the original, released all the way back in 1941?

A modern take?

Whannell’s last film might be a good place to look for clues. As Rotten Tomatoes highlights, The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss proved to be a huge hit with audiences and critics alike, with it successfully bringing the classic monster into the 21st century. While the first take on The Wolfman featuring Lon Chaney was set in its own time period, it would not be a surprise if the new version had a more modern feel.

Deadline added that Whannell’s movie would be based on his own original idea and “inspired” by the 1941 film, so the chances are that plenty of plot elements could differ too. For instance, as IMDB.com explains, the original features an American returning to his ancestral home in Wales, and elements of fortune-telling, while a cane plays a key role in the story as well. If the new film does go for a contemporary feel, it would probably not be a huge surprise to see elements like those tweaked.

A great time for horror fans

It is a fascinating time for horror fans at the moment, as the success of The Invisible Man has clearly inspired Universal to see how its other classic monsters can be rebooted for modern audiences.

Very little is known about the new version of The Wolfman at this point, but it is fun to speculate on how the movie could differ from what has come before. The involvement of both Whannell and Gosling means that excitement will undoubtedly be high when it finally hits cinemas.

Lead image: "Ryan Gosling" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

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