It’s refreshing when a Hollywood type comes forward and offers a blunt critique of their work. Sam Worthington did it a couple of weeks back in reference to his DOA performance in Clash of the Titans and now whilst speaking to CBM after the wrap of principal photography on his hopeful reputation saver Captain America, Joe Johnston has shared his thoughts on The Wolfman.
People may remember that he was late on to the project after Mark Romanek butted heads with the producers and requested extra days to shoot. This request was turned down and he ultimately left four weeks before the start of filming. Into the breach stepped Joe Johnston. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say;
I had three weeks of prep on Wolfman, a ridiculously inadequate amount of time to try to bring together the fractured and scattered pieces of the production. I had taken the job mostly because I had a cash flow problem, the only time in my career I’ve ever let finances enter into the decision process. Money is always the wrong reason for doing something that requires passionate devotion.
The production was a leaky, rudderless ship in a perfect storm suffering from bad decisions, infighting, reluctance of the powers-that-be to take responsibility, and too many under-qualified cooks in the kitchen. The good news and bad news about directing is that when the picture works you’re showered with all the credit and when it doesn’t work you’re dumped on with all the blame. Both scenarios are undeserved. I take full responsibility for THE WOLFMAN not working because it goes with the territory.
That’s it, take it on the chin Joe. Honesty is the best policy. There are far too many people in Hollywood, happy to coast by on their former records, blissfully unaware or unable to admit their own shortcomings. Some because they don’t know any better, some victims of their own hubris and some who are given the false impression by the people that surround them that everything they touch turns to gold.
It’s not all doom and gloom though;
There were wonderful aspects of The Wolfman experience. I inherited a crew that was the best of my experience, including a first assistant director without whom I could not have made it through the first two weeks. I rediscovered all that I love about London and its environs and I made some lifelong friends, on and off the crew.
Johnston goes on to mention his time on the Captain America set calling it probably the most universally positive experience he’s had in the business. Lets hope we see that captured on the screen. The opening salvo in his rehabilitation will be the release of the trailer, which should be about in the next few weeks. This time, he has no excuses.