Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Look Part 2: Benicio Del Toro as the Wolfman

First Look: Benicio Del Toro as the Wolfman

Although we already ran a first look at The Wolfman way back in September, this is the official, and much more gnarly, first look at THE Wolfman. Thanks to special effects maven Rick Baker's genius work, Benicio Del Toro has been transformed from Lawrence Talbot into a full-fledged werewolf. In addition to the two nifty new photos, EW.com caught up with Rick Baker and questioned him about everything from the process to how the movie is going to turn out. You'll be glad to know that Baker is as excited and as big of a Universal monster fan as all of us.

"It's been 67 years since the Wolfman first attacked the box office, but he'll be making a comeback next year in a remake by Joe Johnston (Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III). Fortunately for all you lycanthrope fans out there who just can't wait that long, EW caught up with the horror flick's makeup artist, six-time Oscar winner Rick Baker, for an exclusive first look at how he's transformed star Benicio Del Toro into the famed beastly creature."

Benicio Del Toro as The WolfmanBenicio Del Toro as The Wolfman

Rick Baker goes on to talk extensively about the process of turning Del Toro into the Wolfman in their interview. These new photos are from just last week, which was the first time Del Toro showed up on set in full make-up. The process takes three hours every day to apply and includes a latex facial piece, wig, dentures, and lots of hair. Baker talks about his own excitement for the project as well:

"You never know how the movie's going to be, but from what we've done so far, which, mind you, hasn't been very much, what I would say to fans is that 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 also explains the differences between the two photos seen above and the original Wolfman make-up that Lon Chaney Jr. wore in the 1941 version.

"It's actually more frightening. But I still wanted to be true to the original and show respect for it. What's interesting about those two pictures is that there's one that he's kind of facing forward and you see a little more of his body — that's very much more of a classic Wolfman shot; it looks more like the Chaney version. The close-up one is a more frightening and dynamic version. Even though it's the same makeup [as the first picture], he can do a lot more than Lon Chaney could do with the makeup. It's cool that there's something for the old-school guys, and the other picture is more for the guys who don't even know what the Wolfman is but can see that picture and still go, 'Oh, that's cool!'"

To read the full interview (which I encourage everyone to do), head over to EW.com. As much as I'm not necessarily excited for this new reincarnation of The Wolfman, hearing Rick Baker's enthusiasm does spark just a bit of excitement in me as well. Now I'm looking forward to seeing a classic Universal monster revisited!

The Wolfman is currently shooting in England and is scheduled to hit theaters on Februray 13th, 2009.

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