joejohnston01.jpgMuch was made last week of the exit of director Mark Romanek from Universal’s upcoming horror remake The Wolf Man. Benecio Del Toro and Sir Anthony Hopkins were already cast, most of the planning was already complete and the film was mere weeks away from shooting when Romanek decided to leave. Various reasons have been tossed around, from script issues to money issues. No matter the reason, the fact still remained the if Universal wanted to continue on with this remake, a fresh version of a classic, they would need to find a new director with the quickness.

It appears, at least for now, that they have found such a man. AICN is reporting that Jurassic Park III helmer Joe Johnston will take the reigns of the project and finish off a film that, for all intents and purposes, is Mark Romanek’s vision. For most fans a sigh of relief is in order, as Brett Ratner has been passed up by the studio. For others there will be some speculation. To his credit, Johnston has quite a few directorial efforts, including Hidalgo, the aforementioned Jurassic Park III, October Sky, The Rocketeer and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. And lets not forget the fact that he served as Art Director on a few indie flicks, including the first 3 Star Wars films and two Indiana Jones flicks.

So while the future of the flick still may be uncertain, at least we have a director. No word yet from the folks at Universal as to when principal photography may begin or whether this will delay the film’s intended release date, originally pencilled in for February 13, 2009.

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