In lieu of recent reports that seasoned editors Walter Murch and Mark Goldblatt have been hired to try and punch up improve Joe Johnston‘s The Wolfman (Universal, 2.10), I heard from a guy a day or two ago who recently saw a research screening of the 19th Century-era horror film in Los Angeles, and who said three interesting things.

One, Benicio del Toro‘s role is that of a touring American Shakesperean actor along the lines of Edwin Booth. Two, his performance, which the guy didn’t think was all that terrific, is somewhat reminiscent of his landmark performance in Things We Lost in the Fire in that in involves his being in love with a woman he shouldn’t be in love with (i.e., Emily Blunt, playing his brother’s widow). And three, “You could almost relate his role to that of Lon Chaney, Jr.’s in real life and his always being overshadowed by his famous dad in the role, and connect that to the twist in this telling of the story, but that’s my fantasy.”

The best performance in the film, he feels, comes from Geraldine Chaplin “in a tiny little part, even though it’s conceived in such a way as to make no sense.”