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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson could be considered the busiest man in Hollywood. With numerous films either in pre-production, post-production, or even just in production and release, the man is a non-stop entertainment machine. So what's one more picture on his docket? Well, if Universal has their way, it'll be more than one picture in his future, as they want him to relaunch The Wolf Man for a new generation.
Rumors have been swirling, and Deadline only reinforced the word on the street that Universal is eager to land Johnson as their new incarnation of the man with the monthly moonlit curse. As the traditional story line goes, Lawrence Talbot returns to his ancestral home in the European countryside. Unfortunately for him, a run in with a werewolf has turned him into a damned soul himself. Struggling with both the manly and beastly halves of himself, Talbot tries to circumvent his condition, in hopes that he can evade an angry mob out to kill him.
Originally played by the legendary Lon Chaney Jr., The Wolf Man is one of those classic properties that has always been a bright spot in the Universal's monstrous constellation of horror hits. The 1941 film still remains the most venerated version of the story, as the sequels and the 2010 reboot haven't exactly shared the same fortune as their predecessor. Though considering the pattern of the Universal Monsters' cinematic universe reboot, it doesn't sound like we'll be getting the moody, somber Wolf Man of decades past.
Like it or not, Universal seems more interested in a spectacle driven tentpole franchise, as was seen in their 2014 film, Dracula Untold. Even if the film is technically being ignored in the Universal Monsters modern canon, the approach is something that looks to be emulated with the casting of Tom Cruise as the lead in The Mummy, Johnny Depp in The Invisible Man, and Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll. While each of those actors, as well as Dwayne Johnson, have a pretty good range of performance in their canon, Universal is looking for big names to draw a sizable audience into their big ticket gamble. So, naturally, house money is going to play things a little more on the familiar side, rather than experiment too much with the original formula.
Though if a more action-oriented Wolf Man is what we're going to be treated to, at the very least we know that Johnson's capable hands are going to be what carry the future franchise film towards safety. Of course, the true test of whether this new stab at the story of Lawrence Talbot will succeed or not will more than likely be in whether The Mummy reboot turns out to be a big success, or a lousy flop. Much like Dracula Untold, a less than impressive showing would send Universal back to the drawing board, and more than likely see them redrafting their line-up of talent in the process.
In the meantime, Dwayne Johnson isn't signed for The Wolf Man, so this rumor is still just a whisper on the wind. But if any new developments should arise, you'll hear it first from either us of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson himself. The Mummy is set to once again kick off the Universal Monster's universe on June 9, 2017.