Tag Archive | "X-Men Origins Wolverine"

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WOLVERINE Sequel Gets A Definite Title And A Definite Article

Posted on 15 November 2010 by Rich Drees

If you thought that the title X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a bit ungainly and that a sequel title was only going to be worse, you can set aside those fears. In an interview posted over at HitFix this weekend, director Darren Aronofsky has stated that his follow-up to the X-Men franchise prequel starring Hugh Jackman will simply be called The Wolverine.

Also of interest is the assertion that the new film won’t be a sequel to the first one so much as it will be a “one off” film. Is Twentieth Century Fox looking to turn the character into an episodic franchise film like the James Bond series? An interesting possibility.

We do know that the script is by Christopher McQuarrie and that it is rumored to be based on a comic-miniseries from 1982 that saw Wolverine falling in love with a married Japanese woman, leading to a battle with the many samurai in her family. Hopefully, this installment will avoid irritating hard core fans even more than X-Men 3: The Last Stand and the first Wolverine film did with many of its seemingly random cameos of popular X-Men comics characters.

Add in the fact that Aronofsky will once again be using his frequent cinematographer Matthew Libatique and I have to admit that both this film and the currently in production, 1960s set X-Men: First Class have me actually interested in seeing an X-Men film since Brett Ratner’s X-Men 3 and Gavin Hood’s first Wolverine film effectively killed any enthusiasm that I had for the franchise.

The Wolverine begins production next March with location shooting planned for both New York and Japan.

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Fillion And Longoria Up For AVENGERS

Posted on 24 June 2010 by William Gatevackes

It looks like the line-up at The Avengers is getting even more shored up, as rumors indicate that Ant Man and the Wasp are close to being cast.

Cinema Blend is one of many sources reporting that Nathan Fillion is up for Hank Pym, a.k.a. Ant-Man and quoting Comic Book Movie that Eva Longoria is also in negotiations to play his love interest, Janet Van Dyne, a.k.a. the Wasp in the 2012 film.

Rumors surrounding Fillion as Ant-Man have been around since at least April, when MTV’s Splash Page spoke to the actor about the role. At the time, he seemed very receptive.

“I appreciate that,” said Fillion of suggestions that he’d be perfect for the role of Pym. “Maybe it’s because of my diminutive size?”

“I’m familiar with the character,” said Fillion. “I think Hank’s powers come in really handy when you have to slip into a crack to defuse a bomb somewhere that no one else can reach. … Or spying in girls’ locker rooms.”

“But knowing Joss, he’d give him something very clever, and very cool to do — something that no one can do without,” he laughed.

Fillion said he hadn’t spoken with Whedon since the “Avengers” news, and at this point in his career, the “Buffy” creator has already done so much for him that he wouldn’t feel right asking for a role in the Marvel movie.

“There comes a point in time where one single man does so much for you that you can’t ask him to do anything more for you,” he said.

But what if Whedon offered him a part?

“Boom!” he shouted. “I’m in!”

This lends credibility to ComicBookMovie’s source who say the actor is “all-but-confirmed” in the role.

If Fillion is cast, it raises an interesting question about who had a say in the decision. Fillion is part of The Avengers‘ director Joss Whedon’s repertory of actors, having worked with the director on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Serenity, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, so it’s natural that Whedon would choose Fillion for just about any role.

But Ant-Man is scheduled for his own film set to arrive, presumably, after The Avengers hits theaters. That long delayed project is directed by Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World‘s Edgar Wright. You would assume that Wright would have some sort of say in the choice of his lead actor, but the delays in getting his Ant-Man into production might have taken the choice out of his hands.

But, if this is the case, Wright shouldn’t worry. Fillion is a fine actor with a load of geek cred and would be absolutely perfect as Hank Pym.

If Fillion is cast, this would mean that the TV show Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place was a breeding ground for comic book film actors.Fillion joins fellow stars of the TV series Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Lantern) and Traylor Howard (Son of the Mask) in the world of comic book films orspin-offs. If I was the show’s other co-lead, Richard Ruccolo, I’d get on the phone with my agent to capitalize on this action.

Longoria has been rumored for a role in a Marvel film for a long while now, ever since she was seen leaving Marvel Studios’ offices with a stack of comic books in her hand in 2008. In September of that year, we here at FilmBuffOnline were one of the first websites to theorize that Longoria might be up for the role of the Wasp in The Avengers. Okay, so we hedged our bets by saying she could be the Black Widow as well, but our being partially right should count for something.

Longoria and Fillion have worked on the Desperate Housewives TV series for a number of seasons, and should at least bring that sort of familiarity with each other, which would help in playing the roles of the romantically linked characters they are rumored for.

One would assume that if Longoria is cast for The Avengers, she would also be contractually mandated to reprise her role for Ant-Man. So, in essence, Marvel would be locking up casting for two films at the same time.

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Rise of the Comic Book Movie

Posted on 14 January 2010 by William Gatevackes

We continue our look back at the cinematic decade that has just passed with a look at what has become the fastest growing genre of film, the comic book adaptation.

As the 1990s came to a close, things looked grim for the comic book movie. The Batman franchise had been hammered into the ground under the campy hand of Joel Schumacher. The Superman franchise was a distant memory. A successful comic book adaptation was few and far between, usually properties that did fit the typical superhero style, like the morbid revenge fantasy, The Crow, the sci-fi/ comedy, Men in Black, and the horror/ action film Blade. However, two long in development comic properties made their debut in the next decade and would change the world of comic book movies in particular and films in general forever.

Marvel first sold the rights to X-Men and Spider-Man to film studios in the 1980s. Their time spent in development hell is the stuff of legend. A literal who’s who of Hollywood were connected to either film at one time or another. As a matter of fact, Avatar’s James Cameron was attached to both at various points of their planning. Each made it far into the development pipeline. Each had their studios declare bankruptcy and fall apart right underneath them. But it took the new millennium to actually bring them to the screen.

X-Men came first and comic fans waited for it with breathlessly. They greeted each casting announcement with joy (Patrick Stewart is perfect for Professor X!) and trepidation (Russell Crowe doesn’t want to do Wolverine? They lost that Dougray Scott guy? Who is this Hugh Jackman? An actor known mostly for his performance in stage musicals? Ugh!). The characters were not all that well known amongst the general public as Batman and Superman were, but they were enormously popular with the comic fans. The stakes were high.

A character who was well known by the general public was Spider-Man. He was one of the few characters to come close to becoming part of Americana. He had a long history of cartoons, TV shows, toys and merchandise in its history. There was many a person who never held a comic book in their life who could recite the story of how Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. The stakes were high.

Both movies pleased the hard core fans. They weren’t slavishly faithful to the original books, but they were faithful to the spirit. They were done by creators with histories of quality film work who treated the subject matter with respect. They applied such outlandish concepts as symbolism and metaphor to the films. They were great films that could be enjoyed by all audiences.  But, most importantly, they were resounding financial successes. They showed the studios that comic book movies could be an untapped goldmine for their studios.

This cause an explosion of comic book adaptations to made each year. Before this decade, if you had four comic book films in any given year, you had a lot. Now, if there are only four, it’s a light year for comic book adaptations. They have replaced the sci-fi set pieces and explosion filled action films as the new summer blockbuster. 2009 was the first year since 2001 to not feature a comic book film as one of the Top 10 Highest Grossing Films of the year (X-Men Origins: Wolverine ranked at #11). 

The increased attention to graphic novels and comic books as source material exposed the diversity of medium as an art form. Not every film adapted had spandex-clad superheroes beating the crap out of each other. Independent comics such as Ghost World and American Splendor made their way to the screen. Thought provoking dramas like History of Violence and Road to Perdition got their start as graphic novels. Many non-comic savvy are shocked when they find out these films came from funny books.

Comic book films went from movies that actors such as Russell Crowe would refuse because they feared acting in one would hurt their careers to actors like Heath Ledger acting his heart out on the screen, giving his all to make a comic book villain live and breathe on the screen–and winning an Oscar for it.

But as the comic book film has gotten respect from those that make films, it is another story from some members of the media. Much like the way comic books are viewed as some how being substandard to the rest of printed matter, comic book films are treated as being inferior to other forms of cinema. It is a case of not seeing the trees for the forest. The broad grouping of comic book movies has caused some critics to not view each film on its merits, but instead treat the entire genre with a blanket condemnation.

I have seen a number of “Enough with the comic book movies” statements in magazines and on websites over the last few years. I am puzzled by this attitude. Do they really find The Dark Knight to be totally devoid of value? Are they really unimpressed by Sin City’s visual style? Does the fact that Road to Perdition came from a graphic novel completely invalidate its excellent acting and directing? Granted, there have been a lot of bad comic book movies in the last ten years. But there has also been a lot of bad non-comic book movies as well. If you are going to condemn comic book films by the worst they have to offer, then you’ll have to invalidate film making as a whole due to the simple fact that Meet the Spartans got made.

But if you consider the last ten years of comic book movie dominance to be a horrible phase the film industry has gone through, I hate to disappoint you. There are over 20 comic book film in various stages of development, with films planned to hit theaters well into 2012. The decade of the comic book movie is going to last for at least another two years. Deal with it.

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Christopher McQuarrie To Write WOLVERINE Sequel

Posted on 13 August 2009 by William Gatevackes

XMenOriginsWolverineIn the opinion of many, it would be hard for a Wolverine sequel to not get better. But few could expect that an Oscar-winning screenwriter would be tapped to write the follow up, and his involvement might bring an acclaimed director back to the X-Men franchise.

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Christopher McQuarrie, who won an Academy Award for his work on The Usual Suspects, will be taking over writing chores on the sequel to this year’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

The sequel is rumored to be an ipso facto adaptation to the character-defining Chris Claremont and Frank Miller Wolverine comic book miniseries. If that is the case, the story will take place in Japan and deal with Logan’s run in with crime boss and his star-crossed romance with the gangster’s daughter.

McQuarrie’s involvement has caused MTV’s Splash Page to theorize that it might also mean director Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise. McQuarrie is a frequent collaborator of Singer’s. In addition to The Usual Suspects, the screenwriter also worked with the director on Public Access and Valkyrie, worked an uncredited contribution on the first X-Men film, and received an “special thanks” on Apt Pupil.

Singer has recently gone on record expressing interest in returning to the X-Men film universe. His involvement in rebooting Warner’s Superman franchise with Superman Returns took him out of the running for second X-Men sequel, X-Men: The Last Stand, which was directed instead by Brett Ratner.

Singer’s involvement is only in the wishful thinking stage, but is interesting to contemplate.

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Ryan Reynolds Is GREEN LANTERN

Posted on 11 July 2009 by William Gatevackes

reynoldsgreenlanternheader1Do you think there is a contest in the Reynolds-Johansson household to see who can do the most comic book movies? Scarlett held the lead with three (Ghost World, The Spirit, and Iron Man 2) to Ryan’s two (Blade: Trinity and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) He tied it up when the spin-off Deadpool film was announced, and now has pulled ahead by signing on to play one of DC Comics’ most iconic heroes.

The Hollywood Reporter  and Variety are reporting that Ryan Reynolds has signed on to play Hal Jordan in the long awaited Green Lantern film. He beat out such heady competition such as Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto and Justin Timberlake.

Reynolds on-screen persona is, in my opinion, a perfect match for the cocky, authority-bucking Hal Jordan of the script, which was reviewed by us in February. However, other denizens of the Internet have not been as kind. 

For those of you worried that this will force Reynolds out of the Deadpool film, relax. Deadpool is still in the early stages of development, while Green Lantern is scheduled to arrive in theaters in December of 2010. Odds are very good that he will be able to do both.

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Posted on 07 May 2009 by William Gatevackes

ryan_reynolds_deadpool_x_men_origins_wolverineX-Men Origins: Wolverine hasn’t even been in theaters a week, but already they are talking about spin-offs and sequels.

Variety is reporting that Fox has begun development in a Deadpool movie as a star vehicle for Ryan Reynolds.

The article makes it seem like the project just sprung up just this week, but the project has been in the pipeline with Reynolds in the lead for years.

Reynolds starred as Wade Wilson, Deadpool’s alter ego, in first half of  Wolverine, putting on a pitch perfect reading as the character from the comic. However, when they character returned during the final act, another actor portrayed the retooled Deadpool (IMDB lists the actor as Scott Adkins).

While Reynolds’ performance  as Wilson was arguably the best part of the film, the actual appearance of Deadpool in the finale was anti-climatic. The character was a hideously scarred mute with little personality. You get the impression that the producers thought fans would be blown away by the character’s power set and not mind that he was dull as a piece of wood. If they do make the spin-off, hopefully they will plug Reynolds into the super-hero role and  build the character up to fit Reynold’s personality.

The above article also mentions that planning has begun on another Wolverine sequel. The plot is rumored to take place in Japan, which sounds like it will follow, at least in part, the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller series we spoke about here.

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Posted on 01 May 2009 by Rich Drees

During World War Two, there was a huge push from the government to curtail civilian use of any type of material that could be used for the war effort. People were to ask themselves “Is this trip really necessary?” before setting out in their cars, using much needed gasoline and tire rubber. In the current, near war-like culture in Hollywood, those fighting to have the biggest and best summer blockbuster films should be asking themselves the same question before investing hundreds of millions of dollars into a production.

If they had, than we might not have been stuck with X-Men Origins: Wolverine.The film opens in the 1840s in Canada’s Northwest Territories. (Never mind the fact that Canada wasn’t formed until 1867 and the Northwest Territories in 1870. This is probably the least of the script’s errors.) Some high-powered soap opera antics reveal that a young James Logan and Victor Creed are actually half-brothers, each with mutant powers. As one of those powers is super-fast healing they don’t age once they hit adulthood, where they are played by Hugh Jackman and Live Schrieber respectively, and spend the ensuing century fighting in various wars. Eventually, they are recruited by Col. Stryker (Danny Huston) to join a special Black Ops team of mutants, but Logan leaves after the group is involved in a My Lai-esque massacre. Settling in Canada, Logan finds a new life as a lumberjack and love with Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). However, he finds himself drawn back to Stryker when his former teammates start being killed, and the killer also kills Kayla. And all this is just in the first 20 minutes or so, setting up the film’s main plot- Logan running around a lot, fighting other mutants.

At its best, Wolverine is a technically competent motion picture. The camera work is focused and pointed at the action. Director Gavin Hood’s shot selection isn’t particularly inspired and too many moments echo things we have seen before. When Bill Shatner as Captain Kirk looks up at the camera and screams “Khan!” in Star Trek II, it is a powerful moment. When Hood has Jackman do it not once, but twice, in this film, it seems tired, lacking in impact and cheats Jackman out of being able to deliver more nuanced acting moments.

There’s something interesting in the idea of a hero who can instantly heal any physical wound, but has to deal with a near-fatal emotional wound. But the script never really explores the idea. Instead, Jackman stomps his way through the film, pretty much giving a one note performance from the point Wolverine discovers Kayla dead. But so much more potential is treated as throw away. Any bonding moments that Victor and Logan may have had while growing up is lost in the opening credits montage of them fighting in numerous wars. Stryker’s hatred for mutants, explored far more fully in X-Men 2, merits only a one line of dialogue mention here. Are the film makers expecting us to remember this character’s much more fleshed out backstory from the previous film?

The big problem, though, is that we know how this will end- with its hero amnesic, with no clue save a set of military dog tags, as to who he may be. This is the state we met him in back in the first X-Men film (2000). Through that film and its sequel, he discovered his history with the military and the experiment that fused the indestructible adamantium metal to his skeleton. It was that process of discovery and the choices he made based on this knowledge that made him one of the most interesting characters in the X-Men trilogy. Here, however, no matter what Logan does, it doesn’t matter, as he is essentially a blank slate when the final credits roll.

If this film had premiered ten years ago, it would have been praised by genre fans for its level of quality. The thing is, the bar for films such as this has been raised considerably in the past decade, thanks to films like the first two X-Men films and others. Time worn dialogue like “I know who you are!” and “There’s a special place in hell for the things we did!” just don’t meet that standard any more. This leaves Wolverine only an average genre installment. And in the age where DVDs can be delivered right to your home, at trip to the cinema for this one may not be necessary.

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New Releases: May 1

Posted on 01 May 2009 by William Gatevackes

new-wolverine-movie-poster_404x6061. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Fox, 4,099 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG-13): If this movie came out at any time prior to 2006, there would not be as much concern about it. It could have probably just sailed by into theaters without much scrutiny.

However, X-Men:The Last Stand proved that a can’t miss franchise might actually be able to miss after all. And that put an extra critical eye on this franchise extending film.

As a result, you have people making snarky comments that this should actually be the fourth Wolverine movie rather than the first. You also have people questioning where the story fits in. Of course, it is the origin of Wolverine, but he faces off against a different Sabertooth–decidedly not blond and not monosyllabic–than he faced in the first X-Men film.

He also appears to have a run in with Cyclops, a meeting not mentioned in any of the other films–a fact that drives the comic book fan target audience crazy. In addition, the film seems chock full of fan favorite characters from the comics such as Gambit and Deadpool that seem just shoved in. This is always a bad thing (see Batman and Robin and Spider-Man 3).

Add to that a couple disappointing reviews of the script and a controversy over a leaked bare bones version of the film and you have what could be a disaster. I hope it isn’t, but I’m not optimistic.

ghostsofgirlfriendspast_12. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (Warner Bros. (New Line)/ 3,175 Theaters, 100 Minutes, Rated PG-13):
Is it too early to appoint Matthew McConaughey the king of the romantic comedy? Basically, that’s all he is doing cinematically right now. Usually playing an overgrown adolescent whose heart must be tamed by a beautiful girl.

This latest entry adds a Dickensian twist as Matthew plays a serial monogamist who is forced to revisit all his past relationships. In the process, he finds his one true love is the one he’s about to let slip away forever. 

battle-for-terra-poster3. Battle for Terra (Lionsgate, 1,159 Theaters, 85 Minutes, Rated PG): I have to admit, I know absolutely nothing about this film.

I haven’t seen any ads for it, I’ve read no articles, seen no trailers.

Now, I do have a newborn child, which occupies a lot of my time, but I have seen something for all the other films being released this week. This leads me to believe that Lionsgate is burying this film. Bad Lionsgate, bad.

According to IMDB, this is a computer animated sci-fi tale where the last survivors of Earth try to colonize an inhabited planet. The planet’s inhabitants resist and fighting ensues.  So if that floats your boat, maybe you should check this out.

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Film To Comics: WOLVERINE

Posted on 04 March 2009 by William Gatevackes

I know what you are thinking–didn’t Wolverine come from comics? Yes. he did. But in honor of May’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Marvel Comics is carpet bombing us with new Wolverine series and collections. April is the big month for this campaign, where most Marvel Comics published will feature special “Wolverine Appreciation Variant” covers, but it starts this week, as three seminal Wolvie stories–ones that tie somewhat directly into the movie–are republished in trade paperback.

wolv_claremont_tpb-cvIf you have ever heard comic fans saying they wished the Wolverine solo film would take place in Japan, it’s partly due to this work. This trade paperback collects Logan’s first solo miniseries. The classic work by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller (yes, of Sin City, 300, and, ugh, The Spirit fame) helped define the character of Wolverine, and introduced his ties to Japan into his mythos.

While it doesn’t tie into the film, per se, it is a great story done my two creators who were in their prime. If you want to know why Wolverine is one of the most popular comic book characters today, you’ll find some answers here.

wolvwx_tpb-cvBarry Windsor-Smith is a legendary name in comics, dating back to his work on Conan the Barbarian. In 1991, Marvel gave him the honor, if you will, to reveal the mystery behind one of the lingering questions about Wolverine–how he got his Adamantium claws. That story is what composes this trade paperback.

But Windsor-Smith did more than just that. He created a shadowy government agency, a remote secret laboratory, and a big tank of mysterious liquid for the newly metal boned Wolvie to pop out of to flesh out the tale. The story, called “Weapon X”, was serialized in Marvel Comics Presents #72-84 and inspired what little we’ve seen of the movie Wolvie’s origin in X2: X-Men United and will play a bigger role in the upcoming film.

Image courtesy of Midtown Comics.com
Image courtesy of Midtown Comics.com

It took Marvel another ten years to complete the origin of Wolverine. They did it in a special six-issue miniseries written by Paul Jenkins and art by Andy Kubert called Wolverine:Origin.

The story, collected in this volume, told the tale of a young James Howlett, a foppish boy in 19th Century Canada. From these humble beginnings grew the rough and tumble hero known as Wolverine.
Eagle-eyed fans who watched the trailer closely might have caught glimpse of a young boy in a white shirt with bone white claw popping out of his fists. That same scene is taken appears in this series, which leads me to believe that the new movie will take some parts from this collection.
Each trade paperback retails for $16.99 and can be found in better bookstores and comic shops everywhere. If you are non-comic literate and would like to learn more about the character Hugh Jackman plays in this May’s flick, these three trades will teach you well.

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Bunch Of WOLVERINE Reshoot Photos Popping Up

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Rich Drees

Well, so far there have been no reports of the promised journalist visits to the set of the reshoots going on for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, while the production was doing some night shoots at the University of British Columbia a few nights ago, plenty of onlookers grabbed some photographs and have started posting them up online.

There’s not a whole lot to see, some explosions (like the one at left from Flickr user tyfn)and some barb-wire fences. I’m not sure if the production has shot at this location before, in which case they may be beefing up a previously filmed scene, or if this is a new location and a possible new scene added to the film.

You can check some other Wolverine location shooting photostreams at Flickr here, here, here and here.

Via SlashFilm.

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