Today, the brand new official trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine has hit the internet (click on the link to check it out).
In short, it’s good but not great. I find it rather disorganized and slow for the first half as much of it is simply rehashing what we saw in the first full Wolverine trailer. The second half however, is pure action and it makes up for it. The one thing this trailer does do right is showcase much more of the central mutants that many fans care about, notably Gambit, Deadpool and Cyclops – the three characters I’ll focus on here.
Gambit holds a special place in my heart as my favorite X-character. From the get-go of the announcement of his inclusion in the Wolverine Origins film project I’ve been concerned about how he will be adapted into this Fox Studios live-action film – especially after what had been done to characters in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Way back in November, we got our first ever look at Taylor Kitsch in costume as Gambit and he was doing one of the things he does best: playing some cards. The problem was that the image didn’t give off the Gambit vibe that many of us fans of the character have come to know and love – the only resemblance we got from that was long hair and some purple in his apparel (oh, and the ladies) and I started to get a little worried that they were just throwing in the name Gambit into the movie just for the sake of including a popular character… which is what they are doing regardless as he shouldn’t even be in Wolverine’s origin story.
On top of that, there was some unfinished footage for the movie presented as a teaser during the Fox Panel at San Diego Comic Con last summer. This teaser showed us a little bit of Gambit and his cards but no classic charge-up effects (his mutant ability is to charge objects with explosive kinetic energy and when said objects are charged they would glow in this bright purplish color). My thoughts (and hopes) were that they simply hadn’t finished the special effects yet.
Well, that part turned out to be true as later, in mid-December, came the first official full length trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine attached to the disappointing movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still – It was awesome (the trailer, that is) and as a result, my excitement for the movie skyrocketed. The scenes with Gambit revealed many of the things I was worried may be omitted from the movie; We saw that awesome glowing effect I mentioned above, him throwing cards, stuff blowing up and some bad-ass staff action.
But wait… One thing noticeably missing was that his eyes were not his trademark black and red color from the comics – I could live with that for the movie adaptation. No big deal if they nail the other (more important) aspects of the character, right?
Come February, the marketing for the movie was really starting to pick up. We were seeing new images and posters rather frequently and Fox had launched a three-part series of 60-second TV spots during some of their primetime TV programming. These three trailers were titled “Outcasts”, “Brothers” and “Legends” and each focused on a different facet of Wolverine’s story (Click the names of the trailers to see them).
The two big things we got from the new footage were seeing Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool talk for the first time, making a little joke about Sabretooth, and the reveal of the inclusion of a younger teenage Cyclops. This made many wonder why Cyclops was in the movie and how it could tie into the story. I had figured that he was included by Fox to strengthen the bridge to the X-trilogy in a way which movie goers could recognize easily from the trailers and that the new younger actor playing him, Tim Pocock, was being set up for the upcoming X-Men: First Class movie.
From these new videos we also got to see a few new snippets of Gambit in action but like all of the previous footage, not one scene of Gambit talking. Hmmm… they sure made an effort to show off his combat skills and mutant ability but they’ve not done the same to show whether or not he’ll have his trademark accent. Gambit is the “Ragin’ Cajun” – They wouldn’t dare do that to this character would they? I’m getting nasty flashbacks of Colossus’ Russian accent (or lack thereof) from the X-Men trilogy.
Now we’re caught up to the present and today a new full length trailer for Wolverine has debuted online. A very significant portion of the trailer is dedicated to showing scenes of the three characters in question: Gambit, Deadpool and Cyclops. In the teaser, we are conveniently given a big close-up of Gambit’s face and look! Red and black eyes! What a coincidence. Well, that’s another character trait I can check off on my list. But still, not one scene of him talking… They did however include some sounds effects of him charging objects up. They want us to know they are attempting to make this character true to the comics but it will be all for naught, if he doesn’t talk the talk… literally.
Then there’s Deadpool, the wisecracking and crazy-but-lovable mercenary with great powers and a sweet outfit – At least, in the comics. After some Hasbro Toy reveals of this character (played by Ryan Reynolds – a perfect casting choice) hit the web, many fans were worried about the lack of a costume and how poorly designed he looked. We had not seen otherwise from the trailers and still haven’t. You can check out what I had to say about his character and what it may mean for Gambit here and join in on the discussion. Keep in mind, none of this was/is is confirmed and we also don’t know 100% if that thing is Deadpool. It could be that this character is the mysterious Weapon XI who’s listed as a main villain in the movie and reported as Wolverine’s dance partner in the final battle. Or, the toy packing could be misleading us all… What a relief that would be.
Or perhaps not…
[Continue to Page 2 for the second half of the article.]
As more and more fans are able to get their hands on some of the new Hasbro movie figures or at the very least, images of these figures, the packaging on some of the toys pertaining to this character from the trailers are that it is in fact Deadpool. So, this topless guy with purple pants and strange markings on his skin is Deadpool. They describe him as as a weapon created by William Stryker to do his bidding – a perfect mutant with no weaknesses who’s first target is Wolverine.
So that would mean Weapon XI, a mysterious character not described in the Marvel Comics but featured as a primary villain in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one and the same with Deadpool. Uh oh. They had been listed as separate characters on IMDB with Weapon XI played by actor/martial artist Scott Adkins.
Early buzz online were that Adkins was also listed as a stunt double for Ryan Reynolds which led many to believe that Weapon XI is simply Deadpool after his augmentations from experimentation. From that point on he would be played by Adkins purely for stunts. This could be done because the actor is unrecognizable with the makeup and scarring/markings on his body. It’s also reported that the character’s mouth is sewn shut at that point so they wouldn’t need Reynolds’ voice.
But, Adkins isn’t listed as Reynold’s stunt double – At least, not anymore.
Jeffrey C. Robinson is currently listed as doing his stunts. On top of that, Adkins was reportedly on set for at least 12 weeks of shooting and speculation are that it’s because he’s playing a significant character of his own. This supports some of the fanbase’s belief that Weapon XI and Deadpool are separate characters.
In the new trailer, that character (Deadpool/Weapon XI?) has a massive presence and tons of action scenes. We get to see closer shots of his face and what appears to be him emitting a laser blast from his eyes… that or something similar is hitting him in the face (definitely not the case). Now I’m really confused – How can they be the same character, appear like that and now fire lasers from this eyes… how is any of this related to the Deadpool character?
Take a look at these shots from the new trailer:
What is going on here? Are those black lines on baldy supposed to be scarring?
I think the only reason we were given this new trailer so soon after the three 60-second TV spots just a few weeks back is to appease a lot of the online concern about the movie and its characters but I don’t think it’s doing the job. Overall, the trailer is not significantly different from the last full trailer and it includes most of the same scenes and narration while subbing in more detail for characters whom I think the fanbase are concerned with – mainly, these three:
1. We got a little more information on Cyclops and a hint for the story surrounding him – It appears as if he was called out as a mutant (by a teacher at the school?) and Sabretooth was sent to bring him in on behalf of Weapon X.
2. Strangely, we also got to see some closer shots of Deadpool and one of him using what appears to be Cyclops’ optic blast power (if that is in fact, Deadpool and not Weapon XI). Could they have altered his ability for the movie to one where he absorbs other abilities? Could he possibly get the healing ability from Wolverine and the optic blast from young Cyclops? In the previous trailers we did see him have what looked like blades coming from each arm (evidence of that here). Or, is that Weapon X who was created/modified with DNA of other mutants that they’ve been collecting (i.e. Cyclops).
3. They intentionally presented us with a close-up of Gambit with his new augmented black and red eyes (one of the things I mentioned before here) among a few more action sequences and several scenes giving us some new sound effects for when he uses his power.
So, for my star mutant, my checklist is coming together nicely (So far…):
- Trenchcoat – Check
- Quarterstaff – Check
- Throws cards – Check
- Glowing effect on charged weapons – Check
- Sound effect on charged weapons – Check
- Trademark eyes – Check
- Cajun Accent – Still waiting!
Again, the one thing they’ve yet to disclose in any of the promotional material is this character talking. To me, his most important character trait is his slick dialogue and awesome accent – He is the “Ragin’ Cajun” afterall. Fox’s marketing department has graciously shown us a lot of him so far… but not quite enough.
In conclusion, we know the movie version of Gambit has all the parts of his character from the Marvel comics (forgetting timeline implications) so far except the one most important: his voice. We also have a better idea of the story surrounding the involvement of the future leader of the X-Men, Cyclops. And lastly, we don’t really know what’s going on with Deadpool, his powers, or whether or not he’ll sport the classic costume from the Marvel Universe.
Will fans accept this incarnation of Deadpool if that’s who it is? Will they accept Gambit without his accent? I have trouble with both of those.
What are your thoughts and theories? Does anyone out there have a clearer explanation?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens May 1, 2009 and I’ll be there.