Will Randall (Jack Nicholson) once ran the New York publishing world, but now he’s been demoted by his new boss Raymond Alden (Christopher Plummer) and has lost his wife and title to Stewart Swinton (James Spader). At least he’s been bit by a black wolf and has started to become something more than just a normal person, because otherwise, his life is pretty rough.
He soon begins to romance Alden’s daughter Laura (Michelle Pfeiffer) as he tries to control the wolf inside him. Of course, his rival is also a wolf and tries to take everything away from him all over again, but this time, he’s able to best him before becoming a full-blown wolf and running into the woods.
Mike Nichols wouldn’t be my first choice for making a horror movie, what with a resume of The Graduate, Working Girl and The Birdcage. At least the Ennio Morricone is pretty great. The make-up is awesome, too. If you’re going to make a werewolf movie, get the best. Get Rick Baker.
Nicholson had been trying to get this movie made with his friend, Jim Harrison, for more than a decade. The screenwriter and associate producer hated the result of the film so much that he left Hollywood.
The real problem, I think, is that no one could agree what the movie was about. Nichols thought it was about the death of God, the decline of Western civilization and A.I.D.S. Harrison wanted it to be a “celebration of oblivion and liberation.” And Morricone believed it was a story about a man trapped in a dream.