Casting Rumors: ‘Wolverine 2′ & Charlie Kaufman’s ‘Frank or Francis’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

Fox’s next X-Men flick, The Wolverine, and Charlie Kaufman’s Frank or Francis are just about as different as it gets – and yet both films are starting to move forward quickly, having narrowly avoided falling into development limbo.

Rumors are circulating around both titles, concerning a rising starlet and a well-to-do funnyman, who could show up in each respective movie. Neither one should be considered anything near a lock right now, though.

The Wolverine sequel is still aiming for a 2012 release, with franchise staple Hugh Jackman working under the direction of James Mangold (3:10 To Yuma). Kaufman’s latest mind-trip, by comparison, doesn’t have a tentative release date just yet, but could be ready to hit theaters by the latter half of next year, seeing how it already has three big-name actors attached to star.

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The Wolverine

The Wolverine 2 release date Casting Rumors: Wolverine 2 & Charlie Kaufmans Frank or Francis

Assuming Fox still intends to make a Summer 2012 release date, production on Wolverine 2 could be as rushed a process as that on this year’s X-Men: First Class. That’s probably frustrating news for fans who felt the X-Men prequel suffered in quality from the too-fast turnaround time – and who worry that the promising Wolverine followup may as well. C’est la vie, it seems.

Shadow & Act claims that musician/actress Naturi Naughton (The Playboy Club) is the first new addition to the Wolverine sequel, where she’ll be playing the mutant Cecilia Reyes. For those not familiar with the character: Miss Reyes is a Afro-Latin American born in Puerto Rico, but raised in the Bronx, who can generate force fields and is a medical specialist in the area of trauma surgery. She is a reluctant member of the X-Men squad who traditionally has little to no interest in being a superhero.

In the original X-Men comics, Reyes was at one point a prisoner of a mutant concentration camp run by the Weapon X program. It seems possible then that The Wolverine could alter that narrative thread by revealing Reyes as having been one of the young mutants rescued near the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine – thereby partially linking the events of that poorly-received prequel to Wolverine’s new starring vehicle.

The Wolverine is still expected to serve as primarily a standalone story that sees Jackman’s loner mutant head over to Japan for a new adventure, based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s acclaimed 1982 story arc (chronicled in “Wolverine” #1-4 and “Uncanny X-Men” #172-173). However, it could still contain elements that subtly connect it to the events of its predecessor.

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Frank or Francis

Zookeeper trailer with Kevin James Casting Rumors: Wolverine 2 & Charlie Kaufmans Frank or Francis

Kevin James in ‘Zookeeper’

The Playlist has gotten ahold of Kaufman’s Frank or Francis screenplay and learned that the film features a role written specifically for Kevin James – namely, that of Kevin James, who stars in the movie-within-a-movie Obese City. If James were to sign on for the part, it would be a bit of meta-casting along the lines of John Malkovich’s role in Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich.

James is best known for starring in mainstream commercial projects like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Zookeeper, or (nowadays) just about every other Adam Sandler comedy. So the artsier Frank or Francis would definitely be an interesting change of pace for him. Not to mention, it would also offer James the opportunity to send up his image as being “the funny fat guy” who makes shlock, a la Jack Black in Tropic Thunder.

Speaking of Black – he’s already onboard for Frank or Francis, which revolves around the rivalry between a Hollywood filmmaker and his greatest opponent: a highly-venamous blogger who delights in ridiculing his work. Nicolas Cage and Steve Carell are also attached to the pic, which is rumored to be part biting satire, part musical.

Suffice it to say, if you love Kaufman’s breed of semi-experimental narrative filmmaking style, Frank or Francis is definitely one to add to your must-see list.

We’ll keep you posted on the status of both The Wolverine and Frank or Francis as more information is released.

Source: Shadow & Act, The Playlist (via /Film)

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TAGS: frank or francis, the wolverine

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  1. See here they go throwing characters in the Wolverine movie that have no business being there. Are they going to try and put every character from the X-Men comics in these movies even if they have no connection to the story and appeared in different decades ?

    • I totally agree with you, I say it’s time to reboot the series.

      • nah to early to reboot

    • and why doesn’t Cecilia Reyes deserve to be in an X-Men movie?

      • I don’t think he means she can’t be in an XMen movie, its more that she can’t be in that’s set in a time period she was probably too young for. ah well, if they can put Mystique and Havok in the 60s, Cecilia Reyes will be just fine in the 70s.

        • It’s not about who deserves to be in a movie since there are a few characters who have not seen the light of day in 10 years and five movies who people would argue should be in a movie. The point is this movie is supposed to be based on the Wolverine Japan story so in reality nobody from the team really needs to be in the film.

          And if they have to put other characters in the story just to “subtly connect it” to the other films, then why not use established characters that actually have some context to the story. How does a Bronx-born Afro-Latina doctor fit into anything about this story?

          It just seems like another character that they will throw on screen as a special effects set-piece that really could have just not been there, just like so many other characters in these movies. Putting the horribly under-used Kitty Pryde in this movie would make about ten times more sense, hell even Storm had more interaction with that part of Wolverines life then people remember.

          • they’ve already established that the movies aren’t the comics and that multiple facets of the X-Men mythos lend themselves to the movies. out of the five movies none of them have strictly followed one story arc. i don’t point in complaining especially after First Class. Whether you liked the film or not, it told a story using obscure and interesting mutants.

            even if this rumor is true (its been on imdb since last year), did you really think that the producers would stick 100% to the casting and story? supposedly, the Silver Samurai, Shingen Yashida, Mariko Yashida, Yukio and Logan are the lead roles where Noburo Moro, a Japanese “Frank Sinatra,” and Viper share supporting roles.

            i’d say use cecilia for First Class part 2…

            • As of right now all imdb has up as far as casting is Jackman, Ken Watanbe as someone I have never heard of, the women mentioned in this article and Kelly Hu as Deathstrike. Granted just by the looks of it most of this stuff is speculation and probably to be taken with a grain of salt. They already used Deathstrike and unless the good old amnesia card is pulled, again, they did nothing to link the two past Wolverine killing her.

              This character being rumored is plausible but, why? I mean she does not sound like a major figure in the story she was in and really is not needed in a Wolverine story at all. Just seems like a weird choice for a rumor since it’s not really that important and is another one of those, “who is that?”, character choices.

              The Viper thing is not on there either and was more then likely a mix up since that character is not really connected with the X-Men and might not fall under that ridiculous license they have.

  2. *sigh*

    damn you fox… damn you

  3. You know what they really need to do is put Daken in there. If not this movie after it. Have Wolvie face his son.

  4. I was thinking that title was already used for an Ed Wood movie but that one was called Glen or Glenda.

  5. i want a real Wolverine film as he was my favorite character growing up, but i have little faith… and First Class wasnt good, it crapped all over the comic cannon and mystique looked terrible, it wasnt bad just nowhere as good as it been sensationalized as, i think people had really low expectations from the last 2 so they thought this was better,or they no nothing about xmen lol

    • professor X and Magneto origin in the movies >>>> comic book canon

  6. The problem is,is that Fox has managed to paint themselves into a corner artistically and figuratively… Fox owns the one copyright that every studio would love to have and has managed to screw it up because of greedy producers and their need to spinoff characters like Wolverine and Magneto,who though are really interesting characters are not the whole xmen universe…With True Blood being so popular,why hasn’t their been anyinterest in a Rogue film or a Kitty Pride film?? Don’t get me wrong the new xmen flick was great and actually felt like an x flick but it was their xflick and not the fans…The first rule of franchises: never do a prequel regardless of its relevancy to aseries..Now fox is trying to throw characters into a film that has no business being in..
    what’s next? Is maggot and marrow and jubilee going to be in it too?? Fox doesn’t want a strict comic to movie film…

    • Fox and the Donner’s production company have a huge pool of characters via the license Marvel wishes it could back and it seems they have no clue what to do with it and never have. The initial movie had financial limits from what has been said and was just a better showing then 98% of anything Marvel related had ever managed to get on screen. After that it just seemed like they were picking characters at random and then plugging them into stories that end up feeling like one-offs.

      The feeling that characters like Wolverine and Magneto have been over-used is nothing but valid, and even as an avid Wolverine fan I have felt that their need to link things to him that really aren’t have hurt the development of other characters and quit frankly still hasn’t shown Wolverine in the form many would like to see.

      At this point they have about two big name X-Men in Cable and maybe Bishop that they haven’t pulled out of their hat and Apocalypse and Sinister on the antagonist side. The thing is the way they have presented everyone else I almost don’t want to see what they would do to those characters.

  7. I’m looking forward to Kaufman’s new movie.