Universal Pictures will scare up a new version of its horror classic The Wolf Man, with Benicio Del Toro playing the title role. Se7en writer Andrew Kevin Walker has begun penning the script. Scott Stuber, Rick Yorn, Mary Parent and Del Toro will produce, says Variety.

The studio owned the underlying rights to the character.

Like the 1941 original that starred Lon Chaney Jr., new pic will be set in Victorian England. Del Toro will play a man who returns from America to his ancestral homeland, gets bitten by a werewolf and begins a hairy moonlight existence.

The deal came out of a series of meetings with the producers, Walker and Del Toro, who collects Wolf Man memorabilia.

Walker spent several months working on some frightening new twists to a familiar tale, adding several characters and plot points that take advantage of cutting-edge visual effects technology.

Walker will turn in his first draft by the spring, and the producers and studio are optimistic that "The Wolf Man" will shoot early in 2007, after Del Toro completes "Guerrilla," the Che Guevara film being directed by Steven Soderbergh.

The expectation is that "The Wolf Man" will be a summer 2008 blockbuster.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.