In the ten years of Bloody Disgusting, one of the most disappointing pieces of news was learning that Mark Romanek had exited The Wolfman remake after nearly a year in pre-production. While everyone involved was tight-lipped, we had heard that Romanek wasn’t comfortable with the large budget, which turns out to be half true. AICN caught up with the director who breaks the silence about his departure, while keeping diplomatic about the situation. This is a pretty damn good read.
From Aint it Cool News:
“Mark Romanek: It was a producer driven project. It was not a director driven project. I tried to make it be a director driven project or have it be a director driven project, but it was never going to be that. I should say an actor-director driven project. Benicio and I wanted to do a certain kind of film and when we ran that up the flagpole nobody saluted. So, it was best to bow out because they knew what they wanted and it was better for them to have a filmmaker that was going to be more collaborative, I guess, toward that end. I saw it in the film. Some of the design remained and some of the locations I picked, but that’s about it, though.
Mark Romanek: Some of the cast. Some of it they recast when I left. Some of them they kept.
Quint: I’m thinking specifically in your vision you wanted a lot more practical stuff, that’s why you brought on Rick Baker, right?
Mark Romanek: Well, I wanted it to be simpler, more practical and more character-driven, more emotional, more archetypal and mythic and what they really wanted… And by the way, I want to make it really clear actually and this is a good place to do it, because I don’t talk about it that much, I don’t have any bitterness attached to it.
I was actually supported fairly well, there were just a lot of problems about… There was the strike, for starters, which got it off on a really bad foot and then the film was dramatically under-budgeted.
People say “Oh, he couldn’t figure how to make a movie for a hundred million dollars,” well you know what? If you are 30 or 40 or 45 million dollars shy of what you need that’s on the page and there’s a strike and you can’t change anything (in the script), what the fuck do you do? That’s a problem. It’s very easy for people that actually don’t make films to say “Oh, he couldn’t figure it out for a hundred million dollars.”
You know, when we are three weeks away from shooting, we can’t change the script, and it’s clear that we are 30 or 40 million dollars light, what do you do? On top of that, no one could agree on what the tone of the film should be and no one wanted to unanimously support Benny and my’s version of it and Tony Hopkins’ (version), too.
And so it seemed better to let them find a filmmaker that was more suited to their goals. And they are good guys, they are nice guys. I don’t think they are like evil bad guys, they just wanted to make a certain kind of film. That’s what they believed in and that’s really true. I would work with any of those guys again, it just didn’t work out. Sometimes you just can’t get on the same page, which is fine. I have no regrets about it. It was a very traumatic decision to leave that film because I worked on it for almost a year, but I don’t regret leaving because it was the right decision, but it was a hard decision.“