Raise your hand if you have ever seen An American Werewolf in London. That”s just what I thought: Not many of you. And if you have seen it, it was probably a long time ago. I think I saw some of it as a kid one year in the 1980s. I recall the werewolf transformation scene. Or maybe that was the one in Paris they did. I really can’t recall. I don’t think so because the latter debuted in 1997, so it had to have been the London one.
In any case, Max Landis, son of John Landis, is planning on rebooting An American Werewolf in London. In the original film, Rick Baker’s work on the monster won him wide acclaim and an Oscar. But all of that work was done before CGI became the norm, and VFX was pretty much all practical, baby.
When it was announced last year that Max was working on a remake of AAWIL, many fans naturally wondered what his approach would be to realizing the monster. During an interview with the Rugged Man Podcast, the younger Landis had the following to say on both that topic and the remake in general.
“The thing I would do with CGI, were I directing this film, would be leg movement, and I would have the entire wolf’s face, back, and body be practical, and then I would fully CGI the legs for organic movements. If you remake American Werewolf and the transformation scene isn’t practical, you have f–cked up.
We’ll see if I can do it. We’ll see if I can pull it off. We’ll see if they even make it. My goal is I feel like all of the best remakes focus on one thing in the original movie, take a lot of the images of the original and then remix that really tightly. With American Werewolf I’m doing that, but I’m also just gonna try and do American Werewolf as best I can. We’ll see. I can’t make no promises.”
Seems pretty cool to me. I like how he dishes out CGI to specific parts of the monster instead of just CGI’ing the whole damned thing. Seems to me he has a “leg up” on the art in some ways because if it were me I would do the whole damned thing practically, and then enhance it with some CGI. Really, the fur they have these days is amazing, as can be seen in the latest War for the Planet of the Apes. Really, if they can do Caesar in CGI, they can do the wolf, although as an homage to Baker and his work, practical would be preferred.
That’s just my opinion, though, and nothing else.