The furry beasts are popping up everywhere, including the upcoming ''Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,'' ''New Moon,'' and more

By Tanner Stransky
January 24, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

Take a gander at the big screen this year because you’re likely to spy a full moon — and we aren’t talking about Will Ferrell’s bare butt. If 2008 marked a comeback for the vampire, the next 12 months belong to the werewolf. On Jan. 23, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans showcases the woolly beasts, while a furrier-than-usual Hugh Jackman returns in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1). Later this year, Benicio Del Toro stars in The Wolfman (Nov. 6), and in the Nov. 20 Twilight sequel New Moon, heroine Bella moons over werewolf Jacob. TV loves a lupine too: Fox just ordered the ludicrously titled dramedy pilot Bitches — about a quartet of female werewolf friends in New York City — and it’s rumored that season 2 of HBO’s True Blood will get hairy. So what’s with the comeback? ”The last time this happened was World War II,” notes Brad Steiger, author of The Werewolf Book. ”It’s reflective. We want to worry about something that can get us besides bailouts. I’m eager to see [these projects]. Benicio, God bless him, looks like a werewolf without the makeup.”