Fox Studios held a presentation yesterday in LA to show-off the upcoming release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine on Blu-ray and DVD. Producer Lauren Schuler Donner and director Gavin Hood were in attendance to answer some questions about the franchise, adapting the source material and the sequel to Wolverine’s first solo adventure.
The Blu-ray edition for X-Men Origins: Wolverine is set to be something special with the plethora of bonus features it includes. There’s even a live feature that allows viewers the option to see information on the actors on screen while they watch through IMDB. It essentially will let you look at previous & upcoming projects for all of your favorite stars.
You can head over to Latino Review who were in attendance for more information on this and some of the deleted scenes they got to see. We’re instead going to focus on what was said in the Q&A session about X-Men Origins: Wolverine and its sequel, Wolverine 2.
Currently, Oscar-winning writer Christopher McQuarrie is working on a script to adapt the popular ‘80s Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Wolverine series set in Japan. This of course, is where we’ll see Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine go to for his next adventure, as hinted at in one of the bonus ending scenes in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Unfortunately there were issues with the first film and how it paid respect to the source material from the comics. Yes, the Wolverine history is overly convoluted and he’s beyond over-used currently, having parts in a dozen books monthly. However, the new movie didn’t hit on the simple fact that Wolverine needed a rough violent past which haunts him. That aspect of the movie was completely ignored and we merely got hints of it in the opening montage that passed through him and his half-brother’s experiences in the many wars over the last two centuries.
Even scenes such as when Logan went through the adamantium bonding process were completely wasted. It lasted a minute long and consisted of him getting needles, injecting the liquid metal into him… that’s it. It didn’t even match what we saw from the X-Rays in the first X-Men movie or his flashbacks. How does injecting liquid metal into him make it bond to only his bones in a nice smooth equal layer and give him perfectly formed blades on top of his rough-looking bone claws?
Had the movie been rated R, which it really would have benefited from, we might have seen them actually perform the extensive operation on him to cut him open and insert adamantium and replacing those claws with new ones. That is the major moment in his life that changes who he is, re-defining him. However, this is just one example of the many issues I saw as something that could have been easily improved.
What’s really weird about this is that the tie-in video game for X-Men Origins: Wolverine was infinitely more gruesome. It looked better, had better story elements and really showed what Wolverine and his rage are all about unlike the film – it might be the first time the video game tie-in is actually better than the movie it’s based on (a whole ton better). Just the cutscenes alone were cooler than most of what we saw in the feature film – That is the Hugh Jackman and Wolverine I want to see on-screen.
So, looking forward to the sequel, will they repeat the same, having a movie disliked by most critics and many fans (Wolverine’s solo film had the lowest ratings out of all four X-Films by a massive margin) with rushed special effects? How will it treat the well-respected Japanese storyline of Wolverine’s past?
Or can we get something polished and complete like the first two well-regarded X-Men movies?
In the Q & A session of the Fox event, producer Lauren Schuler Donner and director Gavin Hood were asked about how the financial success (not critical success) of the first movie give them liberty to drift away from the source material more or make them follow the source material more closely.
Lauren Schuler Donner:
I think it’s our responsibility to remain true to the source material. There are other influences and other factors that make us deviate from it, the first of which being transcribing it to the screen. We certainly are fully aware of the fan base and try in every way possible to stay close to the source material. I think in ‘Wolverine’ it was a little bit different because there was a lot of different source material, a lot of different legends in Victor Creed’s relationship to Logan and Logan’s background. There were some choices we had to make. Certainly in ‘Wolverine 2,’ in the Japanese saga, we will stay very close to the source material. I think it’s just best that way.
The truth is, what freaked me out a little when I was doing my research was that I was looking for the definitive origin story of Wolverine. And, of course, any of you who know the comics know that doesn’t entirely exist because this guy’s been written about for 40 years by many different writers, different illustrators. Wolverine’s been drawn wearing a yellow spandex suit and he’s been drawn about wearing jeans and a jacket. The truth is, all of these versions are from source material. The origin story of him as a kid and the bone claws happening and the hint that Victor Creed may be his half brother. In the original draft, when we looked at it without him being a half brother, there wasn’t as much emotional connection between the hero and the villain. So we had to make the choices that were right for this movie. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other options that other writers have written. I just prefer to do a movie with him in jeans and a leather jacket rather than yellow spandex. (Laughs)
I find it very interesting that they first tried the story without Sabretooth and Wolverine being brothers but I understand why they went they way they did. For me, Victor Creed was one of the best parts of the movie with the great performance by Liev Schreiber. If you’re a Schreiber/Sabretooth fan, check out our look at the future of Sabreooth in the X-Men franchise to see what may happen with the character next.
Next question: there’s so much material to choose from to make 2-hour feature films from, do they look at the modern Wolverine comics for story ideas?
Lauren Schuler Donner:
There are 40 years of material. Chris Claremont, they’re still writing. Chris is writing an amazing series right now where Wolverine’s killed, Storm is the villain. Sure, one day I’d love to do that.
I think that’s the joy of this character. He isn’t just one thing. He’s this great icon that can be played by different people and different people get different [things] out of him in different ways. Everybody has their own interpretation.
Hmmm… this is the second time Donner’s words have me confused (the first being when she contradicted herself in trying to explain who can and cannot be in X-Men: First Class). Of all the stuff to choose from, a story where Storm is the villain and Wolverine is killed? Really, this over everything else in his history?
Hood’s point raises an interesting idea. Because of Wolverine’s ability to live so long, and because there are so many stories that can be told in the form of movies for the characters, could we see something similar to the James Bond franchise based on the Wolverine character?
Lauren Schuler Donner:
Yes, that would be wonderful. There’s enough comic book material to support it. If we were to make up our own story, which we’ve never talked about, personally I would do it with Chris Claremont. I would stick with the creator.
This is actually an interesting point, because unlike Bond, Wolverine can actually live that long to have that many films made about him. As the years go by, they’d have to find different actors to play him similar to the Bond franchise.
I just think that the Japanese story is so iconic and beautiful and could be so visual. That’s the one and I’m reluctant to talk about others because I know Len [Wein]’s writing others now. And honestly, here’s the truth: if the Japanese story works, there might be another sequel. And if it doesn’t, there won’t be. You can get ahead of yourselves by sort of stirring up rumors of what might be. I’m not going to even go there.
I don’t even know if I would be involved. Right now I’m not attached. Nobody’s attached. They’re developing a script and we’ll see where everybody is. I’m hoping to be shooting something next year and I don’t think that ‘Wolverine’ will be ready for next year. I haven’t been approached one way or another. The studio is obviously very cautious. They want to see how Wolverine does on DVD. Let them develop the script, let’s see what the script looks like, let’s see how the studio feels about the script, how Hugh feels about it and then we’ll take it from there.
I’m confident that the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Japan storyline of Wolverine would make for a good movie and with Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) writing, I hope we get an improvement over Wolvy’s first solo outing.
Hood’s last response above mentions that there are other stories being written by Len Wein – he wrote the Watchmen video game nad has written a bunch of TV stuff, including a few episodes of the awesome X-Men animated series of the nineties. I’m curious what stories he’s adapting and what they’re for… other Wolverine movies? Tie-ins? Video Games?
As for X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2, I don’t think fans expect an exact replica of the comic on screen, but we would like an all-around good movie where Wolverine is truely bad-ass, the characters at least stay true to what defines them, and a solid story that works for a feature film. Oh, and finished special effects, what happened with Wolvy’s claws this time around?
If you’re an X-Fan and are excited for more Wolverine action, check out our discussion on what may be the story and villains of Wolverine 2.
This is only three of the questions and responses that we chose to touch on, for the rest, head over our friends at Latino Review.
What would you like to see from Wolverine 2 or other Wolverine movies down the road?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is available on DVD and Blu-ray with 4 different editions on September 15th.
Source: Latino Review, Image on page 3 edited from cover of Wolverine: The Anniversary #1