Jason Momoa, who catapulted to mainstream attention via the television series “Baywatch” had since then continued to work on notable roles in hit series and films such as “Game of Thrones,” “The Game,” “Stargate Atlantis” and “Bullet To The Head” – Momoa has just been cast as Aquaman, but before he heads to be the King of Atlantis, Momoa first plays alpha wolf who rules a fearsome pack of feral creatures in the supernatural thriller “Wolves” starring alongside Lucas Till (aka Havoc of “X-Men” films).
Directed by David Hayter (known scribe who wrote superhero films such as “X-Men” and “Watchmen”), “Wolves” is his directorial debut that revolves around Cayden (Lucas Till), a high school football player with a beautiful girlfriend and loving parents. Until one night, Cayden blacks out and awakens to find his parents murdered. Horrified, confused, and believing he was responsible for their deaths, Cayden hits the road in search of answers. His quest leads him to Lupine Ridge, a small town inhabited by werewolves. It’s here that Cayden encounters Angelina (Merritt Patterson), John Tollerman (Stephen McHattie) and the ruthless Connor (Momoa).
“Connor is the master,” explains Momoa. “He pretty much runs the town. He has his disciples. He is looking for a pureblood woman to mate with, so he can carry on his lineage. His whole pack is obviously not purebloods. There’s a woman (Angelina) in this that is a pureblood. Connor wants her. Someone is in Connor’s way and he will do anything to get her. I don’t like that. We get into a little bit of a fight over her. There’s some beautiful twists and turns that David designed in this.”
“It’s very challenging,” acknowledges Hayter. “Transforming into a werewolf can be hell, the process can be long and tedious, but the end results are jaw-dropping and realistic. On our biggest day, we have 15 makeup effects people on board at any given time. They are doing all the savages. They are putting on the claws. They are putting in their eyes. They are putting the patterns on their faces. It’s quite a logistical endeavour.”
In order to capture the essence of wolves and study their movements, Momoa took all the necessary steps. He read books, watched videos and visited The Wolf Connection, a wolf rescue organization. The already imposing and muscular actor also bulked up further for the role. “As far as training goes, I wanted to get really, really big,” says Momoa. “I trained and trained and tried to get big. A fight scene required me to deadlift a lot of weight. I have to lift a lot of guys up and slam them down. We wanted to make it pretty vicious and brutal.”
Hayter breaks a lot the rules and mixes things up known to making wolf movies. “A lot of the mythology I’m changing,” explains Hayter. “Turning into a werewolf is not something that occurs just at the full moon. This is something if you learn to control it, you can call on it at any time. Anything you have in your nature, you should be able to call on any time, whether it be rage or an emotional response. You should be able to whip that up within yourself.”
“Well, when a wolf fights, they have teeth, claws and body mass,” Hayter concludes. “That’s it. I’m fond of saying this is not a horror movie, but people get slashed. Throats get cut. People are bitten. It is inherently brutal and I think our core audience wants a film like this.”
“Wolves” opens December 17 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.