Danny Elfman to score The Wolf Man, whole world utters loud “Duh!”

Superstar music master Danny Elfman (Hellboy II) has just been announced as the composer for Universal’s forthcoming remake of The Wolf Man. Elfman, who’s best known for his frequent collaborations with director Tim Burton as well as his theme for The Simpsons, is a good choice in my opinion, in addition to being a very obvious one (he did score Sleepy Hollow after all). I for one am looking forward to what musical wonders Mr Elfman will come up with.

The Wolf Man, a remake of the 1941 classic, will premiere on April 3rd in the US, UK and Denmark, with the rest of the world following shortly. Footage from the film was shown at this year’s Comic-Con, to very enthusiastic response. The premise of the film, which was written by Andrew Kevin Walker  (hey, Sleepy Hollow!) and David Self (Road To Perdition), goes like this, according to Wikipedia:

Set in the late 1880s, the film keeps the plotline of the original, with Lawrence Talbot meeting his father following the death of his brother. The film details events during Lawrence’s past that led to his estrangement from his father (which includes Gwen), and the setting is expanded from Blackmore (now identified as the village from the original) to London.[3] The official synopsis states Talbot was traumatized by his mother’s death as a child, while Gwen Conliffe is his brother’s fiancée. Following his brother’s disappearance, Talbot hunts a murderer, which turns out to be a werewolf, and the curse is passed on.

The film was originally to be directed by the über-talented Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), but he left very early on due to budget disagreements, with the pretty competent Joe Johnston (Hidalgo) taking over as helmsman. Benicio Del Toro (Things We Lost In The Fire) plays the lead character and is joined Anthony Hopkins (Beowulf), Hugo Weaving (V For Vendetta) and Emily Blunt (Charlie Wilson’s War).

The Wolf Man will be Universal’s third attempt at resurrecting their old horror franchises, following the success of The Mummy and the failure of Van Helsing (a seriously underrated movie by the way). It seems as though The Wolf Man, which features makeup from maestro Rick Baker (Norbit), will be a decidedly more serious-minded affair than those movies, which turned away some moviegoers with their more light, fun approach to the source material.

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Paramount Famous Prods. created, slew of DTV sequels to ensue

Paramount is renaming its straight-to-dvd division. The goods news? Prepare for Without A Paddle: Nature’s Calling, Road Trip 2: Still Trippin’, Mean Girls 2: Meaner Girls, Bad News Bears 2: More Bad News and Naked Gun 1/4: Can’t Get More Naked Than This and Grease 3.  The bad news? They’re calling it “Paramount Famous Productions”. Seriously is that the stupidest name for a movie company or what? Nikki Finke reports:

The newly christened Paramount Famous Productions has been actively developing an inaugural production slate. Now PFP prez Louis Feola says that, starting in 2010, the division expects to release 5 to 6 films annually with titles to encompass a mix of sequels, prequels and remakes based on the libraries of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, DreamWorks Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PFP also wants to work closely with Viacom-owned cable networks such as BET, Comedy Central and Spike TV to develop filmed entertainment content.

Louis Feola used to have the same job over at Universal which means he’s the guy we should thank for all those American Pie and Bring It On sequels. I don’t have anything against straight-to-dvd sequels really, but this batch seems pretty uninteresting. Grease 3 will probably be a High School Musical ripoff, Mean Girls 2 will probably be watchable as long as they get some hot girls, and they better get Leslie Nielsen for Naked Gun 4, for obvious reasons. Mr Feola, if you’re reading this, how about The Haunting 2? Here’s a movie which can easily be better than the original!

So, what films from the Paramount family would be a good fit for straight-to-dvd sequel goodness? Discuss!

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