Director Mark Romanek—the MTV Dali who spun twirling pig heads and simian crucifixion imagery into an unlikely Valentine to unhinged monkey sex in the "Closer" video—was long attached to the Universal remake of The Wolf Man, his first feature length film since 2002's glossy-finish stalker movie, One Hour Photo. Variety now reports the Fincherian visual perfectionist has pulled out of the project just weeks before shooting was to begin, crediting the tidy, two-word standby so often invoked following acrimonious partings of the Hollywood ways:
Romanek exited the film late Monday night over creative differences.
The film has long had Benicio Del Toro aboard to play the werewolf, and the studio just set Emily Blunt ("Charlie Wilson's War") and Anthony Hopkins to play the other leads in the film.
The studio maintains that Romanek left the project in strong shape and that it expects to set another director quickly.
While some may consider Romanek's unbending allegiance to his art a tad overzealous, we think it will be the studio, not the director, who winds up most regretful, particularly once they view the lazily conceived final product from his replacement: Cutting budgetary corners may be attractive to the bottom line, but one can never place too high a value on such small-detail luxuries as real werewolf hair and hiring a lycanthropic accent coach to ensure maximum howling authenticity.