Universal's remake of "The Wolf Man," with Benicio Del Toro as the title monster, has had easily the most (publically) problematic production of any film in recent memory: The first director was fired/quit just as it was gearing up, there were public spats about practical-vs-CGI FX between creature-maker Rick Baker and the production, and recently new editors were hired to "punch up" the finished footage. All signs pointed to the usual trouble: A potentially-cool genre film getting watered-down by a studio afraid to make something awesome and maybe even a little dangerous. It also, even from it's trailers, looked A LOT "bigger" and thus more expensive than many might have been expecting, which could only ADD to the concern if you follow these things: Even if your movie is about a monster who's only real ability is tearing people limb-from-limb, a studio spending big money usually wants a "safe" PG13 rating to garauntee maximum profit.
So, then, it comes as not just good news but potentially SPECTACULAR news that "The Wolf Man" has been rated R for "bloody horror, violence and gore." Now, that DOESN'T necessarily mean all the problems haven't resulted in a less-than-great film, but it IS a strong indicator that things might be going in the right direction. An R-rating, at it's fundamental level, usually means that the film was made "uncompromised" to a certain degree; it also possibly tells us that Universal might think they have something pretty good on their hands, since a "bad" genre film would absolutely get saddled with a PG13 in order to increase it's earning capacity.
If it's "that" good, I'm interested to see what it's reception does for journeyman director Joe Johnston, who's been making solid films without becoming much of a "name" for DECADES now. If this works out, it could end up a big secondary buzz-point for the "Captain America" movie he's set to make for Marvel (if that's still happening, there hasn't been WORD ONE about it since they announced they were making it.)