An in depth look at the film career of Anthony Hopkins

The Wolfman (2010) Movie Review

WolfMan 2010

WolfMan 2010

The Wolfman’ has finally been released (February 2010) following delays due to apparent ‘creative differences’ and an eventual change of director.  The film had an epic budget and much hyped publicity in the wake of the recent trend for vampire and werewolf movies.  Headed up by fine actors, Benicio Del Toro (Lawrence Talbot) Emily Blunt (Gwen Conliffe), Sir Anthony Hopkins (Sir John Talbot) and Hugo Weaving (detective from Scotland Yard), a heap of special effects and the backing of Universal Studios, one would have high expectations going to see this film, a remake of the 1941 classic gothic horror film of same name.

The Wolfman 2010

The Wolfman 2010

Anthony Hopkins is the monstrous Sir John Talbot in this new remake of this werewolf classic.  He is cold and Machiavellian as the chillingly unemotional English aristocrat who abandoned his son (played in the film by Benicio Del Toro) as a child and now lives in the isolation of his decaying mansion in the wilds of the English countryside.

The £55 million production is a much more lavish – and scarier – version of the original film, which starred Lon Chaney Jr as the lycanthrope and Claude Rains as his father. While Chaney’s metamorphosis consisted mostly of growing more facial hair and sprouting fangs, this time the transformation of Del Toro is handled by Rick Baker, the special effects wizard who devised the horrific change scenes for 1981’s An American Werewolf In London.

The Wolfman‘ was filmed on location at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, UK,  the  stately home became a house of horror in ‘The Wolfman’ – horror movie fans will be howling with screams of delight when they see Chatsworth House like it’s never been seen before – in the new Hollywood blockbuster The Wolfman.

shop in U.S. Anthony Hopkins movie store

shop in UK Anthony Hopkins movie store

The region’s top stately home was transformed into a house of horror and burns to the ground in the Universal Pictures remake of the 1940s classic.
Chatsworth House is the spooky ancestral home where the blood-curdling story unfolds.  A 200-strong film crew descended on the Derbyshire estate to give it a monster makeover during the five-week shoot – in which the house becomes almost unrecognisable.
Mud was smeared across the windows, vines and creepers draped from its roof, crumbling statues strewn throughout the grounds and rough moorland turf disguised its pristine lawns.

The Wolfman 2010 filmed at Chatsworth House

The Wolfman 2010 filmed at Chatsworth House

Digital wizards, using state-of-the-art CGI technology, then added a huge dome to the building and turned it into a semi-ruin before appearing to burn it down for the movie’s final cut.

In an ironic twist, the house is actually set to reopen after a winter break following its most significant facelift since the 1830s.  Chatsworth Trust will also benefit from a donation by the film-makers, which will be used for conservation and enhancements around the estate.

The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire stayed at home throughout the shoot of ‘The Wolfman‘, which took place two years ago in the grounds of the 35,000-ace estate, though not in the house itself.

Emma Pill, location manager for ‘The Wolfman’, said the surroundings had been ideal for the film.
“Our time on preparation and filming at Chatsworth was fantastic,” she said. ”  ‘The Wolfman‘ was a large feature film to accommodate, and Chatsworth took on the production with an open mind.

“The house and grounds are truly a wonderful film location.”

Other film locations included Castle Combe in Wiltshire and at Stowe House, Buckinghamshire.

However, if you are a seasoned Hopkins fan, you could be shocked seeing him playing the mad-eyed, wild-haired Sir John Talbot, endlessly musing over full moons.  This film introduces Anthony Hopkins to a younger more modern audience who are probably too young to remember Hopkins with slicked back hair as the evil, slow blinking universal monster Dr Lecter in the trilogy, playing the ultimate monster of all time, Hannibal Lecter.

Set in 1890 the scene and atmosphere is set with an over abundance of fog machines, eerie noises and predictable gore in an effort to pay tribute to the nostalgic Hammer House of Horror films from a past era.  The film is a remake of the 1941 film of the same title.  Unfortunately the setting fails to convince and appears slightly comical, instead of having you on the edge of your seat with fear.  The film has clearly suffered from too much editing and the characters are difficult to relate to, as is their dialogue in relation to the scant plot.  Hugo Weaving, as the Scotland Yard detective adds much needed wit and interest, albeit a brief performance.

Anthony Hopkins requested to play the piano in this movie, which he does using his own composition which he improvised at the time.  Another accomplished passion of Hopkins, he is due to do a concert tour in Australia later this year performing music he has composed.

The film is light and entertaining, especially for fans of werewolves, Frankenstein, and gothic horror, and great to watch on your home cinema with the lights down and the volume way up to get the most out of the special effects in The Wolfman movie!

It is said there is no sin in killing a beast, only a man but where do you draw the line??  Find out!

Watch ‘The Wolfman’ trailer below and click here to buy The Wolfman DVD  for shipping now, safely and securely through our very own Anthony Hopkins Amazon store.