5 Reasons ‘The Wolverine’ Can Make Up for ‘X-Men Origins’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:24 am, This is a list post.

Why The Wolverine Will Be Better than Origins This summer, comic book fans and movie audiences have already been treated to two hit film adaptations featuring some of their favorite characters. In May, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 overcame a lukewarm fan reception (read our Iron Man 3 review) to gross over $1 billion worldwide, proving that the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains one of the elite blockbuster franchises. Then, Warner Bros. and DC released the Superman reboot Man of Steel and brought the Last Son of Krypton back triumphantly (read our Man of Steel review) as that film has grossed $282 million domestically and $620 million worldwide (at the time of this writing). Both of these movies also had an “event” feeling to them and with all the coverage the two blockbusters have received, it’s easy to forget that there’s still a third superhero movie this summer - and it’s right around the corner: 20th Century Fox’s The Wolverine. It’s a situation similar to last summer where The Amazing Spider-Man had to compete with massive event films The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Like that Spider-Man reboot, it seems as if The Wolverine isn’t as high on peoples’ most anticipated lists when compared to its competition. Even if the pre-release hype hasn’t reached a fever pitch, there are still plenty of reasons to be excited for the latest X-Men film.

It’s a Standalone Movie

The Wolverine Is a Standalone Film It’s no secret that one of the most maligned superhero adaptations in recent memory is 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was ravaged by critics and moviegoers who were displeased with the butchering of fan-favorite characters (the less we say about Deadpool, the better), sloppy production values, and a poor script. The general consensus was it was just a mess of a movie and an overall disappointment. Looking for a reprieve, Fox has made the smart decision to distance the second Wolverine film from the first and position it as a standalone film - not a direct sequel. Since it takes place after the original X-Men trilogy, The Wolverine will still have to acknowledge the events of the prior movies (Jean Grey makes a brief appearance), but director James Mangold has made a point to explain that his movie “stands alone” and is about Wolverine’s next journey. Serving as a quasi-reboot of sorts, The Wolverine’s standalone approach will hopefully win the studio some audience goodwill - as Fox looks to rebuild the X-Men franchise.

Director James Mangold

James Mangold Directing The Wolverine James Mangold took over for Darren Aronofsky to direct The Wolverine and his involvement should be a positive sign for moviegoers. In the past, the filmmaker has helmed Oscar-nominated dramas such as the 2010 remake 3:10 to Yuma and the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. These two career highlights were praised for their acting and directing, which indicates that Mangold has a touch for cracking the human element in his films. Mangold is also passionate about the subject matter. He has talked about enjoying comic books as a youngster (so the source material means something special to him) and seems to have a firm grasp on what The Wolverine needs to be in order to be successful. The director is hoping to craft a more personal, character-driven story that breaks from the mold of a typical summer action flick. Mangold is looking to respect the rich storytelling of comic books and graphic novels in and break away from what he calls the “standard formula” of a big-budget superhero adaptation. Obviously, there will still be action (the train sequence has been heavily featured in marketing), but it should be refreshing to see a movie like this go in a different direction. The best superhero films – The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, even The Incredibles – rely more on character than set pieces, making the person behind the mask (or in this case sideburns) just as interesting to watch as the action elements. If this is what Mangold is going for, it's a promising approach.

No Writers Strike

Wolverine in Japan by Frank Miller Like many tent-pole projects in the summer of 2009, the infamous Writers Strike negatively impacted X-Men Origins: Wolverine. With no screenwriters available to lend a helping hand, the first spinoff went into production with a hastily penned screenplay and the results were disastrous. With no strike in 2012 or 2013, there’s hope that The Wolverine actually has a solid script. Based on the talent Fox has hired, fans could be in luck. Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) wrote the first draft of The Wolverine script (back when Wolverine was slated to be the only mutant in the picture) using the legendary Japanese story arc as the basis for this film. The classic series from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller has long been a favorite for fans of the character (including star Hugh Jackman). Even though Mangold and screenwriter Mark Bomback made heavy revisions to the script, McQuarrie’s ideas are still firmly in place and those involved with the film have been quick to praise his work. The Wolverine looks to deal with heavier issues than we’re typically used to seeing in a film like this, particularly the consequences of immortality. This film finds Logan in a dark place as he struggles to cope with the knowledge that everyone he loves will eventually die while he stays alive. As a result, the movie will hopefully push our favorite mutant in new directions (as all great sequels should) and present audiences with something we’ve never seen before: a more physically vulnerable Wolverine.

Actor Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine At the turn of the 21st century, not many people knew who Hugh Jackman was, but a star-making turn in Bryan Singer’s original X-Men in 2000 launched the Australian thespian’s career. Jackman has since become one of the most recognizable actors of his time, scoring roles in acclaimed films such as The Prestige and Les Misérables (for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar). Still, his most iconic role is that of Wolverine in the X-Men franchise. Counting his brief cameo in 2011’s X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine will mark the sixth time Jackman has portrayed the mutant, making him synonymous with the character. It’s hard to see anyone else playing the part (at least for now). What makes Jackman such a great Wolverine (aside from his natural acting talent) is his enthusiasm for the material. It’s obvious from his interview clips and quotes that he loves the character and the franchise. He understands how much the movies mean to the fans and he wants to give all of them a product they can enjoy. Franchise fatigue has yet to set in - and Jackman is set to play the character once more in next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Eager to right past wrongs, fans have reason to think this movie will be a return to form if the star is so excited about it.

A Shared X-Men Movie Universe

X-Men Shared Movie Universe Even though The Wolverine is a standalone film, it was recently confirmed that there is a post-credits scene that teases where the studio intends to take the X-Men franchise - as they look to build a larger universe of X-Men films (similar to Marvel Studios' Avengers shared universe). This movie in particular may not be a launching pad for such a plan (like Iron Man was to Marvel back in 2008), but the prospect of a tease for the future is more than enough to generate interest among moviegoers, as Fox will quickly shift gears to next summer’s ambitious X-Men Days of Future Past. With an X-Force film currently in development, the studio obviously has big plans to do more with their Marvel properties. The Wolverine’s button will provide us with that first look and it will be interesting, if nothing else, to see what directions they take.

Conclusion

July Movie Preview - The Wolverine With comic writer Mark Millar serving as a consultant for Fox’s Marvel universe, Fox is hoping to wash out the bad taste X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine left in moviegoers’ mouths by producing a new series of films that will return the franchise back to the top of the genre it helped launch. X-Men: First Class was a solid first step and The Wolverine will (hopefully) continue that rehabilitation. ___ The Wolverine releases July 26th, 2013.
TAGS: the wolverine, x-men

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  1. Its just hard for me to get excited about Fox comic book films because most of them are terrible. Daredevil and Elektra were awful, Fantastic Four 1&2 are terrible. X-Men 1 is good but for me it doesn’t hold up. X2 is definitely the best of the X films and the best superhero film by Fox. X3 is god awful and Origins Wolverine is a sloppy mess. First Class was really good but largely due to the great cast. I’ve set my expectations really low for this but surely it has to be better than Origins Wolverine. But Days of Future Past is a HUGE question mark for me. Weirdly enough, I think in some ways its a bigger question mark than Guardians of the Galaxy.

    • I still think GOTG, after it’s all said and done, will be a much better movie than any of the Fox CB movies to date… including these next two.

    • I agree man.. Except for your thoughts on X-Men 1. I still think that show rocks.

      • I totally agree with deadpool87.

        X-Men 1 was good, especially because it was the first of a kind, but the characters sabre tooth, toad and mystique don’t have 2 sentences altogether in the whole film… at least it set the stage for X-Men 2.

        With The Wolverine (saw it yesterday) they have missed the target again and they have wasted another chance again. Of course it is better than the origins one, but which movie is not?

        Days of Future Past HAS to be good because the cast is awesome, but while Brian Singer did Usual Suspects and X-Men 2, he also did Superman Returns… will see, fingers crossed…

    • On First Class, I do agree with you that the cast really made that film. Obviously it was better than The Last Stand and Origins, but I still thought the script was pretty weak. Granted, it didn’t rape any beloved characters like the previous two movies, but I still think it’s a pretty poorly constructed movie at times (especially the final third of the movie, which rushed the story WAY too much). I still like First Class, but I’d say it just gets the praise it gets because of the great cast and the fact that it was an improvemnt on the X men franchise.

    • Daredevil Director’s Cut was NOT awful. You can call Elektra and fantastic Four awful but leave Daredevil out of this, that was a good film.

    • So glad to hear someone agrees with me about X-Men: Origins. My impression was that it was a critical success, but I thought it was mediocre at best. I also agree that X2 was the best of the franchise — the opening Nightcrawler sequence, all by itself, was worth the admission price. X3, on the other hand, was a grievously lost opportunity.

      • Oops. Pardon me, I totally spaced meant to write about Xmen: First Class, not “Xmen: Origins”. I thought First Class was overrated, eventhough it was largely a critical success. Didn’t impress me. I thought Wolverine’s Origin flick was actually pretty good.

    • But other than Sin City 2 (and that Incal movie Nic Refn is apparently making) GOTG is probably the only CB movie I’m actually looking forward to.

  2. It’s a bit of an assumption to state Origins disappointed fans; I found it to be a reasonable film and quite enjoyed it. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

    • I’d say it’s the weakest of the series, but I still enjoyed. In terms of dissapointment, you had to be the right fan to be dissapointed by that film. The way they treated Deadpool was terrible. However, at the time I had no idea who Deadpool was, so I didn’t think much of it.

  3. Honestly, Hugh did a great job in origin, it wasnt his fault the script went south past the 1/2 mark of the flick…but his best wolvie was Xmen 1

    • I dont know man, every time I watch the attack on the mansion in X2 where he goes bezerk on the guards I cant help but smile. I think my fave wolvie is right there.

      • Yeah, like that is without a doubt the best Wolverine scene in any of the movies. That or the fight with Lady Deathstrike.

        • +1

        • ya those are awesome

      • Im a sucker for logan’s bar scene in part 1. Grabs the stoggie..*geek radar goes off*

    • I don’t think anyone can seriously blame Mr. Jackman (man, he looks ripped!) for the (many ) faults of Origins. The guy did his best with a bad lot. Still, there’s no denying that Fox have made an awful mess of this franchise and are now desperately trying to back peddle in the wake of the success of Marvel. Now that they have seen just how big these movies can be. The Xmen are a massive deal in the comic book world and have been for quite some time. So it takes real talent to produce the utter bum gravy they have delivered so far. Can Fox really blame us for being sceptical given their track record. The fans, movie goers, and Jackman himself deserve better.
      her’s hoping.

      • For me, the first two thirds of Origins were carried by Jackman. I thought the scenes with him and Sabertooth were great and he really did a great job showing the character become who he is in the original trilogy. The final thrid of the film, however, is where the script REALLY fell apart (with the exception of the Professor X cameo, that was awesome). The point is, Jackman does everything he can to give us a great Wolverine movie, but the script in Origins just didn’t deliver. I really do hope this movie is good, but it’s easy to think otherwise.

  4. This has been pretty close to the top of my list for this summer.. Just under Pacific Rim and Elysium. Reviews look a lot better than Origins, thats good!

    • The reviews aren’t outstanding, but so far it looks as if The Wolverine is a worth addition, not the best but good enough.

      • Yeah its at like 70% on RT right now. I’m excited. I’m not expecting like X2 quality here, or even First Class quality. I just want a smart action flick that’s better than Origins. Seriously I still remember walking out of that theater in 2009 with my face like I just bit into a lemon. That movie was a huuuuge let down.

        • Nice, I usually wait until it reaches 50 or 60 reviews before it starts to show the final rating.

          +1 on the smart action flick. From what I’ve been hearing, it’s mostly drama and focusing on character development so I’m all for!

          Once I saw the rating for Origins, I didn’t even end up seeing it in theaters, I never pay for something with that low of a score.

          • Good call dude, yeah the score will solidify more tomorrow or friday there still aren’t a lot of reviews. Hopefully the percentage goes up from here and not down *fingers crossed*

  5. Wolverine has always been a rather boring character.

    • Most people ignore his background, so they can enjoy Wolverine’s mutant abilities.

  6. Loved the first two films. I was let down by the Last Stand and origins but First Class placed my faith back into the X-Men franchise. Everything that made the first two X-Men films and First Class good are returning so I don’t see why I’d be worried for Days of Future Past.

  7. First mistake was not using the original x-men line up. 2nd they massacred my 2 favorite characters: Deadpool and Gambit. Gambit was ok but very little screen time.

    I’m going to see this movie… I’ve been an xmen reader and fan for years… But I’m walking in expecting the worst.

    I wish they’d feature more standalone stories of other xmen characters. Or give us xmen stories that don’t center around wolverine.
    If xforce has wolverine in it… That might be it for me.

  8. I would say the most interesting aspect of the X-Men franchise is that there are way way way more recognizable characters in this series than any other comic. Essentially, Fox can create an X-Men universe akin to Disney’s MCU. There are so many routes that this series can go it is truly unbelievable. The X-Men universe can include various factions and other lesser-known mutants to create an expanded universe that will not get stale. The big question here is this: if they choose to create this sort of universe, will they reboot the entire franchise? To accomplish this, the answer is undoubtedly yes. Fox will have to pull a Warner Bros. and start from scratch after X-Men Days of Future Past. Then the brand can build to an ultimate payoff with arguably the best comic book villain Apocalypse like Marvel is building towards Thanos and DC is likely building towards Darkseid.

  9. the wolverine is what it should have been called to begin with instead of the ridiculous title “origins”. the first two xmen films were barely good
    but fox has completely trashed the xmen universe with their last three marvel movie… the best thing this movie can hope for is that it is a good
    one shot movie.

    • Barely good?

      The original X men is the reason why you have a Marvel cinematic universe in the first place (different companies, yeah, but that’s not the point). X men was the first great Marvel flick and really got Marvel comics started in the movie buisness. X men not only started Marvel’s big budget movies, but it brought bak the Superhero genre entirely (the last big superhero flick before was Batman and Robin, ugh).

      As for X2, you’re talking about one of the most celebrated superhero movies of all time. I honestly don’t think there’s a top 10 superhero movie list out there that doesn’t include this one. Sorry dude, but you are part of one hell of a minority.

  10. Hugh Jackman is perfect as Wolverine. I also though Liev Schreiber was a REALLY good Sabretooth. So those 2 alone are the prime reasons I still watch X-Men Origins and actually enjoy it a lot. It’s always Barakapool that kills the moment for me, but at least it’s near the end.

    • Agreed. Because most people hate Origins so much, they ignore how great of a Sabertooth Live Schreiber was. I hope he comes back for another X men movie.

    • Yeah, their relationship as half brothers was pretty cool even if it contradicted X1….they should reboot it.

  11. i really hope this lives up to the hype. Cant wait to see it

  12. I actually got to quality check the film this morning at the theater i work out. It was good, nothing spectacular but on par with most marvel films id say.

    • By most marvel films i mean by my standards, with the way the majority of people love all marvel filns this may fall short for them. Id go probably 3.5/5 maybe 3.25

  13. Whenever I need five reasons I turn to ScreenRant! Y’all should do a post five reasons to turn to ScreenRant!

  14. They haven’t been ashamed in telling us how hard they’ve been working to make this a quality show. Should that be enough to make me see a way to forgive their prior sloppy work? The old maxim ” the show must go on” keeps popping into my head every time I think about how much better the product could be if they’d taken more care, which would’ve meant more time and money spent on writing, preproduction, and the execution. Obviously money the studio strongly felt they couldn’t get back.

    I also don’t quite fully buy into the premise that one could grow tired of living on and on unless circumstances made it impossible to avoid the pain and boredom of such a prospect. Perhaps that needs a better exploration than what has been given the character. Unless the man keeps losing his memories or can’t discipline himself to focus his energies in a way to make himself highly successful, then I can’t see the idea of wanting to be more mortal. Like I’ve written before humanity rarely has the foresight to start something and insure it’s maintenance and achievement beyond a generation. Dams, roads, bridges, and monuments don’t count.

    The character of Wolverine has that opportunity to explore the possibility of that. I would think he would come around, seeing it as an imperative. In his world and in ours we are drawing ever closer to having conscious machines if we relegate multigenerational goals to such entities will we as a life form remain forever autonomous and free? Why would we do that? Because we simply don’t have the lifespans to ensure that persistent effort is exerted in realizing truly long term goals…

    • True, but don’t blame these guys for Origins. Other than Fox and Jackman, it’s a completely different crew that worked on this film. Don’t blame them for the wrongdoing of others.

  15. … people and websites should really stop overusing the word ‘reboot’. It seems that every time a director or studio wants to go in a different direction from what came before in the SAME film series continuity people starts calling it a ‘reboot’. I wonder then, what was Batman Begins if not a reboot of the Batman franchise

  16. … and how is The Wolverine setting up a ‘shared’ universe, thus copying Marvel? All the X-Men films fit within the same universe, continuity issues aside (but the Marvel films have issues too!) that will hopefully be corrected in Days of Future Past. A post credit scene? X-Men: The Last Stand and the first Wolverine movie already had that. Not everything has to do with the Avengers you know…

  17. I never really expected a lot from this movie for some reason (guess Fox has disappointed me too many times, kinda like the Final Fantasy franchise) but I’ll probably watch it anyway.

    Hope it’s a crowd-pleaser in the end, but oddly enough I’m now more excited for X-Men: Days of Future Past. You can’t go wrong with Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen meeting James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, can you?

  18. Kinda hard to get excited for this movie, personally…

  19. What I have seen of this film so far looks encouraging. It’s good that it is based on a classic story arc – the Origins film was a bad idea from the first thought, never mind the poor execution. The one thing that this film is going up against, however, is over saturation of the character. Wolverine is great and Hugh Jackman is terrific, but Fox has in my opinion already leaned a bit too heavily on that combination. Some burnout is inevitable. But hopefully, this film will be really good.

    Overall, I am happy with the way that Fox is developing things right now. XM:FC, The Wolverine, Days of Future Past and the new Fantastic Four all seem positive at this point.

  20. Okay, anyone, someone tell me how Origins was such a flop critically? I am not familiar with Wolverine’s Comic Book Origins nor have I read many standalone comics of his, but I thoroughly enjoyed Origins. I did not like what they did with Wade in the ending, but that movie had awesome combat scenes, fantastic acting, great dialogue, and a good storyline. Not one moment was I as heavily screwed over by accepting this new adaption.

    I actually thought of Sabretooth being Logan’s brother to be a logical thing to do since it explains the close bond between both characters and how Logan always had Victor’s back.

    And for those who didn’t know, Deadpool somehow regained his ability to talk in the end-scene credit of the movie, so his character can still be played out quite gladly in further sequels.

    Again, someone, please tell me how Origins was such a terrible move!

    • I thought that while the cast and acting were mostly fine, as a story it was just kind of a cluttered mess that was far too broad in scope. Also, the effects and some of the action had a very “unreal” look that to me undermined the grittiness that Wolverine should have, and I felt that the character would have been better off left more mysterious, i.e. without an exhaustive origin story. X1 and X2 were enough for me.

      Honestly, I would have preferred an entire film of mostly just Jackman and Lynn Collins in the the Canadian wilderness, something more grounded and human (or mutant, I guess).

      Origins was certainly not the worst comic book film by any means. But for me personally, not very good either.

    • Will.i.am was in it.
      ’nuff said.

  21. I just read two reviews for this movie, and I’m excited. One gave it 8.5/10 and the other gave it 9/10. I think this movie will surprise a lot of people.

  22. Great sounds good. Looking forward to seeing it

  23. I skipped First Class in theaters. When I rented it I was surprised. I’ll be going to this one on the strength of that.

  24. I haven’t liked anything after X2 and if the Silver Samurai turns out to be a mech like it’s looking in the trailers this one will be on par to disappoint as well. I’ll be waiting for Netflix just in case

  25. Can Chris Agar be more biased???? Let’s analyze it:

    - “Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 overcame a lukewarm fan reception to gross over $1 billion worldwide”. So basically he is implying that despite the lukewarm reception the movie “inexplicably” beat all box office estimates.

    - “Warner Bros. and DC released the Superman reboot Man of Steel and brought the Last Son of Krypton back triumphantly as that film has grossed $620 million worldwide”. Here the mixed reception is not even mentioned and the box office numbers clearly establish a cause and effect – it was a triumph as the numbers said so.

    That is poor objectivity imo… The reality is that MoS created as much, if not more, controversy than IM3 and the reviews were not at all unanimous (i.e. lack of character development, lack of heart, way too serious, overloaded action towards the end alla Transformers,…).

    Both were flawed, but what is a sure thing is that IM3 came clearly on top with the figures at hand. The other sure thing is that Chris Agar liked MoS better than IM3 and his subconscious betrayed him when writing that.

    • Heh. In retrospect, I probably could have worded that paragraph a little differently. What I meant by “triumphantly” was that Man of Steel did bring the Superman film franchise “back” in terms of box office numbers. It set a new June opening weekend record and it’s done well worldwide. Everyone knew Iron Man 3 would be a big hit. Man of Steel was more of a risk due to the underperformance of Superman Returns. Man of Steel obviously did well enough to warrant a sequel, which is why I used “triumphantly” to describe WB’s success with restoring that character. I know that MoS was divisive as well.

      While it’s true that I personally liked Man of Steel more than Iron Man 3, I still really enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I did refer to Marvel as one of the “elite blockbuster franchises” at the top as well. I’m a fan of superhero movies and I’m happy to see so many doing well.

      • First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to reply. It is refreshing!

        I understand your point and I agree that it wouldn’t be fair to compare the box office numbers of Man of Steel and Iron Man 3, the same way that for instance it wouldn’t have been fair to compare the box office numbers of Iron Man 1 and Batman the Dark Night back in 2008 (i.e. new risky project vs. proven solid franchise).

        That said and discounting that everyone knew Iron Man 3 would be a big hit, I am not so sure that everyone knew Iron Man 3 would make it to the top 5 and break the $1bn mark. I don’t think that achivement was assumed as a done deal. So basically in my mind each movie, at their different scale of expectations, had “similar” success despite both having mixed reviews. That’s why I thought those two paragrahps were a bit misleading by comparison.

        Other than that, I’m also a fan of superhero movies and I am happy with the progress in both Marvel and DC camps. Btw, I also like this website very much.

        PS – I wasn’t blown away by Iron Man 3, but you gotta give it to the Marvel guys. They surely know how to connect with the average moviegoer.

        • Yeah, Marvel Studios has had quite a run since the first Iron Man. I’m interested to see how long they can go.

          Sorry for the confusion. I didn’t intend for any bias to stick out. I agree, both movies were big successes this summer.

  26. MoS was better than IM3…

    • That is an opinion an it is fine, but the facts are the box office numbers and that both had mixed reviews.

      Having that in mind, it is unfair to highlight IM3 and lukewarm in the first sentence and MoS and triumph in the second one. If triumph is defined by box office numbers, IM3 is also a triumph, and if we talk about reception, MoS also had its critics. That is the objective approach.

      Personally I didn’t think that IM3 was particulary great, but MoS bored me towards the end…

  27. Since Fox has been scrambling to keep up with Marvel, I wish they would have an X-Factor show featuring the investigations that Peter David has been writing.

  28. I don’t see how they can fix the continuity but I’ll check this and Days of Future Past out to see.

  29. Not to get into spoiler territory I just want to say that fox has breathed some life into the x-men franchise with the wolverine I still have to digest and ponder about whether I liked where they went with it and get comfortable with Wat they changed…

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