Universal will release Werewolf: The Beast Among Us on Blu-ray/DVD tomorrow and I had a chance to talk with the film’s director, Louis Morneau. Continue reading to learn about how this project came together, filming in Romania, and the possibility of a sequel:
Was this a project Universal approached you with or did you come to them?
Louis Morneau: This was something that Michael Tabb wrote and the studio had. They approached me and I was thrilled to do it, being a fan of the classic Universal horror pictures. I pitched a take that made it darker, added dark humor, and some steampunk elements. It basically kept to Michael Tabbs original draft, but I did a couple of quick passes on it and we were right off to Romania.
What was it like to shoot in Romania, where some of these myths had originated? Was this your first time visiting that country?
Louis Morneau: I had been to Eastern Europe, but never Romania before. It was so great and humbling to be there in these amazing locations where some of this mythology was born. We were actually filming in the town were Vlad the Impaler was born, and shot at the exterior of his home. So being in one of these classic medieval cities and to be in that environment was fantastic. It looked amazing and the cast and crew were really into the movie. It made the experience extra special instead of just shooting on a backlot.
Filming in Romania definitely helped give the movie a more authentic and bigger budget feel.
Louis Morneau: We tried to make the picture look and feel as big as possible, like the old Universal pictures. I think it was well worth going there.
The movie has quite a bit more blood and gore than I was expecting. Can you tell me about incorporating those elements into a classic werewolf story?
Louis Morneau: There was a real effort to make a picture that was a throwback to early Universal movies, but still make it contemporary. Hopefully, the blood and guts came off as part of our dark humor we were adding to the film. I think the film works on many levels and is many things, and we definitely went for it with the make-up effects.
Paul Hyett did a terrific job providing the on-set work, which I think was top shelf. It was terrific and he was someone we found based out of London, who had worked on The Woman in Black and The Descent.
Universal doesn’t normally jump into direct-to-video for their horror films, but it seems like many independent horror movies have had success recently going with going the VOD/home video route. As a director do you prefer to work on movies like this and have more freedom?
Louis Morneau: I’m always working on a variety of projects that work nicely at different scales. I have no problem with direct-to-video and think that it gets a very bad rap. Universal did not just want to see this be a gore fest and wanted it to feel bigger and like a Universal horror picture. That was really important to them and it was something I was interested in as well.
Hopefully, that will separate it from films that are just about the body count, but I happen to enjoy those as well. I know people sometimes go in with expectations of a certain kind of film, but I hope they sit back and enjoy it for what it is.
The movie spends quite a bit of time building these characters, in a way that it looks like there are more stories to tell. Are there plans for sequels? Is that something you’d be interested working on?
Louis Morneau: That’s something that we were sort of working to. I think it becomes clear that we’re setting in motion what might become an ongoing story. There is a lot of material to mine and it’s a fun adventure go to on, so I don’t see any reason why that couldn’t happen.