Last June, a rumor surfaced that Universal Pictures was courting action superstar Dwayne Johnson to portray The Wolf Man in their growing monster reboot universe, which the studio revealed last week will be called Dark Universe. Between then and now, Universal hasn’t provided any updates whatsoever regarding their Wolf Man project, but a new report claims that rumors about Dwayne Johnson starring as The Wolf Man are still prevalent, although nothing is set in stone quite yet. The studio’s Dark Universe is set to launch next week with The Mummy, so it’s possible that the studio could unveil more details about this universe soon.
The Hollywood Reporter has an extensive report on the future of this Dark Universe franchise, where they mention the Dwayne Johnson rumors, although no further information is given. As of now, The Wolf Man reboot doesn’t have a release date or a director quite yet, and the studio hasn’t announced when production may begin, but the studio already has other projects further along in development like The Invisible Man, starring Johnny Depp and The Bride of Frankenstein, which has Bill Condon set to direct, with the studio reportedly courting Angelina Jolie for the title character.
This upcoming Wolf Man movie first took shape back in November 2014, when Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners) was tasked with writing the screenplay. No story details have been given at this time, and it remains to be seen what changes will be made to this iconic character. The franchise was first launched in 1941 with Universal’s The Wolf Man, starring the iconic Lon Cheney Jr. as Larry Talbot, a.k.a. The Wolf Man, with Claude Rains playing his father, Sir John Talbot. That movie lead to Lon Cheney Jr. reprising his role in a number of other Universal movies, such as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945) and Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).
Universal tried to reboot the character in 2010 with The Wolf Man, starring Benicio del Toro as Larry Talbot and Anthony Hopkins as Sir John Talbot, but audiences didn’t respond to that movie. The reboot only took in $61.9 million at the domestic box office and $139.7 million worldwide, from a $150 million budget. Back in 2013, Universal was developing a Wolfman TV series with NBC, but that never moved forward, and a year later, the studio moved forward with their Wolf Man theatrical reboot. Despite the script being worked on for nearly three years, it seems this is still in the early stages of development.
As for Dwayne Johnson, it remains to be seen if he can find the room in his schedule to play this iconic character. He is currently filming Rampage for New Line Cinema, which will hit theaters next April, with other projects such as Skycraper, San Andreas 2, Doc Savage, Shazam! and a Big Trouble in Little China reboot all in various stages of development. After Rampage wraps production, it hasn’t been confirmed which of these projects he will take on next, but it’s possible that an opening may surface at some point that would allow him to star as The Wolf Man.