Are you ready for full moon fever? The TV and film world certainly hopes so. 2010 is turning into the Year Of The Werewolf. Not since 1981 (the year of American Werewolf In London, Wolfen and The Howling) have lycanthropes been so popular. Vampires are old hat. Werewolves are the new black.
Think we might be overstating the case? Then check out this list:
1 The Wolfman
Remake of the 1941 Universal Wolf Man, which, like the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, has lost a space between words somewhere along the line. It's the archetypal werewolf tale, complete with rolling-eyed villagers, silver bullets, period setting and Anthony Hopkins overacting wildly. You just know the internet will be full of people moaning about how the CGI transformations are nowhere near as good as Rick Baker's prosthetic transformation in An American Werewolf In London. It’s out in 12 February.
2 Twilight: Eclipse
CG, however, has resulted in some better-looking werewolves. As gut-wrenchingly real as the prosthetic transformations have always been, the men-in-carpets werewolves always looked a little ropey. One of the few genuinely good things about the Twilight saga movies have been the CG werewolves. Okay, the one Jake turns into is a little cuddly, but they are impressive beasts, and bloody huge. And for anyone who hasn't read the books and wondered why the wolf pack always goes round shirtless when in human form, it's because when they transform they rip all their clothes (it a bit of a running joke that Jake hasn't got enough money to keep replacing his jeans and trainers in the book). It also helps pack the cinema with teen girl and gays lads, of course.
3 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part One
Professor Lupin (lupe-in, geddit) will be back but we probably won't see him in shaggy dog form. There is Fenrir Greyback, though - he's one of the Death Eaters' boot boys. Although, again, we probably won't see him as fully werewolf, his "human" form looks like a human/wolf hybrid anyway (kind of a hirsute Wolverine who hasn't waxed for a while). The make-up in Deathly Hallows is slightly different to that in Half-Blood Prince to make him look even more feral.
4 Being Human
Being Human is the deluxe biscuit assortment box of supernatural TV, so it had to feature a werewolf. Mild-mannered George is the lunar-mutt in this one, sharing a house with a ghost and a vampire. George is trying to live with his curse as best as possible, and has introduced the concept of chicken-on-a-string to werewolf mythology: he drags the chicken round the woods before he transforms so his wolfy self will follow the trail and stay in the woods rather than travel into town to chow down on chavs coming back from the nightclub. In series two (spoiler alert for those outside the UK) he's shocked to learn he's transferred his curse onto his girlfriend, so that twice a month he'd do best to avoid her, then…
5 The Vampire Diaries
The new hit show from the US is an unashamed small screen Twilight, though with far sharper scripts thanks to showrunner Kevin (Scream, Dawson’s Creek) Williamson. But yeah, we're in teen girl falls for teen (looking) vampire again, and so there has to be a werewolf somewhere in the mix (blame Buffy, we say). And while we haven't actually seen a werewolf on the show yet, the writers promise one is on the way, and we may be surprised by who it turns out to be. Our money is on the guy who was getting all antsy when he framed against a full moon a few episodes back.
6 True Blood
Werewolves are coming to True Blood too, a show that's not about a teenage girl falling for a teenage (looking) vampire, but, in blast of originality you wouldn't have thought Hollywood capable of, that's about a slightly older girl falling for a slightly older (looking) vampire. It makes all the difference. Well that, and all the bare-bottomed shagging. Many inattentive viewers may assume that the show already has a werewolf (or a weredog, at least), but Sam is a actually shapeshifter who favours transforming into a golden retriever (maybe he likes licking his own testicles). Real werewolves are on the way in season three, though. And guess what? One of them might even turn fangbanging Sookie’s head. Now there's a plot development we haven't seen before. Thank goodness True Blood has so much else going for it (witty scripts, great acting, lots of sex), because the basic premise is as old as… well Buffy, to be frank.
Described as Sex In City with werewolves this is a new comedy drama series in development at Fox TV. It follows a foursome of New York women who are buddies by day and werewolves by night. Good grief, hope they aren't wearing their Jimmy Choos when they transform (and what's the betting there's a gag along those lines in the pilot?). The script comes from Superman Returns and X2 screenwriter Michael Dougherty.
Another TV show in development at Fox, but this one sounds a lot more serious, so read this with a furrowed brow. Described as an epic family saga about warring families of werewolves in a small Alaskan town, Howl is apparently about "the psychology of living with change… Alaska is a place where people disappear and now you know why," says co-writer Joshua Miller. The script reflects the changes that are going on in the country, and "metamorphosis and constant change is the basis of werewolf mythology." Yeah, but are there ripped guys wandering around with their kit off?