The folks at Cinema Blend spoke with Liev Schreiber the other day during a press junket for his upcoming film, Taking Woodstock, and touched base with him on what his future may be in the X-Men franchise.
Unfortunately for fans of Schreiber’s portrayal of Victor Creed, the talented actor didn’t sound too enthused about the idea of returning to the role of Wolverine’s brother and arch nemesis. Join us as we discuss what the storyline of Wolverine 2 may entail in terms of characters and what other stories and villains could be introduced.
We’ll be touching on Silver Samurai, Team X, Omega Red and more!
In speaking with Cinema Blend, Schreiber pointed out that he may not be ready to play the part again.
“I’m over 40 now, and do I really want to go through the physical stuff that it took to pull that off again? I’m not so sure.”
Bah! If Hugh Jackman can do it, you can too, Liev.
I do understand what he’s saying though: by the time Wolverine 2 starts shooting, he’ll be in his forties. At the same time, if the filmmakers want Schreiber back, this is probably their last chance.
Storywise, I don’t know how they’d turn Wolverine and Creed against one other again, what with Wolvy’s memory loss at the end of the Origins film – especially since we already know the two characters don’t know each other in the first X-Men movie.
With Liev’s disinterest and the way the character has been treated in the series, I could see sadly writing Victor Creed and Sabertooth off as separate characters.
Cinema Blend’s Katey Rich made a good point on this, saying that Schreiber may not have much of a choice, assuming he’s signed to a multi-picture contract (which is pretty standard for these genre movies at Fox Studios).
That being said, if he doesn’t want to come back, his friend Hugh Jackman definitely wouldn’t force his return as a contractual obligation.
Continuing his thoughts on the Wolverine sequel, Schreiber continued,
“As an audience member, I’d be really interested to see how you’d go from the Liev Schreiber Victor Creed to the Tyler Mane Victor Creed [from X-Men]. So I’d like to see that.”
I think we’d all like to see that. It’d be a big let down (we’ve had far too many already) if the filmmakers just ended up leaving Victor Creed and never addressing how he goes from this:
The talkative and egotistical Victor Creed (with normal eyes)
The dumb, slow and quiet animal, Sabretooth (with abnormal eyes)
Kenuichio Harada, the Silver Samurai
So, moving on past Sabretooth, we know Wolverine 2 is going to follow the story of his experiences in Japan from the popular Frank Miller and Chris Claremont comic book.
With that being the basis for the story of the sequel, it’s an obvious choice to have the Silver Samurai (real name: Ken Harada) be the key villain of the movie, or at least, a key character in the movie.
He’d make for a great character on screen with his power to channel energy into any object, notably his katana sword, to the point where it can cut through the strongest of materials (except Wolvy’s Adamantium of course). This would make him a worthy opponent in combat, but not necessarily a real threat.
Giving meaning to their encounters would be the hardships evolving from Wolverine falling in love with the Silver Samurai’s half-sister, Mariko Yashida, a key plot thread in Wolverine’s journey to Japan.
Ken Harada ain’t all bad, though, despite his conflicted history. He’s actually pretty cool and is sometimes looked at as a superhero, not just a villain. In later comics, he’s worked together with Wolverine to take down other bad guys and put effort towards serving his country.
With all that in mind, I think we need something more. As much as I personally liked Liev Schreiber’s performance as Victor Creed, I don’t think that it fits within Wolverine 2 from what we know of it so far. However, it also doesn’t make sense for his character to just abandon Wolverine… but it also doesn’t make sense that they meet again… or that he looks like Tyler Mane’s Sabretooth later on in the continuity… It’s really a confusing (and unfortunate) situation for the character.
Arkady Rossovich (Omega Red)
Moving on to another popular X-character who’s been talked about online for years, and whom many fans would love to see featured on screen: Omega Red (real name: Arkady Rossovich), the mutant-healing-serial-killer-turned-failed-super-soldier-experiment of the Soviet government.
Similar to Wolverine’s Weapon X history, Omega Red was augmented with a metal alloy called Carbonadium (It’s basically the Soviets’ artificial version of Adamantium) in the form of tentacles which give him his trademark appearance.
The experiments didn’t go too well for poor murderous Arkady though, and he ended up having to rely on sucking the life out of victims with the help of his implants to survive. He later was given the Carbonadium Synthesizer, a device that helped maintain his condition and prevent his life-sucking needs.
Eventually, the Soviet government figured that Omega Red is a pretty bad guy and not very well disciplined so they froze him in suspended animation where he stayed until being re-awakened after the Soviet government had fallen.
Now, here’s the key to it all…
Coming back full circle, if they did go with a storyline where Wolverine encounters Omega Red, in the comics Wolverine was sent on a mission with Maverick and Sabertooth (!), to steal the Carbonadium Synthesizer from Omega Red. It was the last mission where they worked together as part of Team X.
Heard of them?
Team X is the team of mutants we saw Wolverine and Sabretooth working for in the early parts of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In the comics, its roster is very similar to the film adaptation, including Maverick (who is Agent Zero in the movie), Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson in the movie), Silver Fox (Wolvy’s girlfriend in the movie post-Team X), and John Wraith (Will.I.Am’s teleporting mutant).
They’ve introduced all of those folks already, so they could do something with Omega Red. All they’d need to do is show flashbacks in the sequel and bring back all the actors for a few scenes. In my mind, that’d be something really cool to see, since we barely got any screen time for Team X in this summer’s Origins film.
In the Marvel continuity, that mission against Omega Red was their last as Team X, which could be simply altered in the movie. In the comics, Sabretooth and Wolverine steal the Carbonadium Synthesizer from Omega Red, causing the big Russian to continually hunt them down over the years, leading to multiple violent encounters.
Sounds like a good idea to me. As Screen Rant Editor, Kofi Outlaw, suggested a long time ago, he could see Wolverine being sent by S.H.I.E.L.D. for a covert mission in Russia where he would go up against Omega Red.
I don’t know if S.H.I.E.L.D. can be used by Fox Studios, but tying my idea into this, we could get an intro through the use of flashbacks, bringing back the Team X characters from X-Men Origins: Wolverine where we could meet Omega Red back in the Soviet Russia days. Then in the present time period of the sequel, Wolverine could encounter Omega Red again not remembering who he is, or like Kofi suggests, Wolverine could be tasked on a mission which leads to that encounter.
With the timelines as they are in the films, they could substitute stories and it could be S.H.I.E.L.D. sending Wolverine and Victor Creed (and others) together for this mission after the events of the first movie.
Logan and Victor, together again…or not?
That would be an easy way to bring Schreiber back, but it doesn’t come close to addressing the Tyler Mane issue. How Victor would act around the amnesia-ridden Wolverine would be strange, to say the least. I can’t think of a good way to bridge the gap between X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the first X-Men.
But wait, what does any of that have to do with the Japanese storyline? Well, guess who revived Omega Red from his long cryogenic sleep? That would be Matsu’o Tsurayaba, a member of the ninja group, The Hand, based out of Japan – The same criminal underworld group who sought after the Silver Samurai in the comics to lead and unite them.
The Hand and Matsu’o were also suggested by our own Kofi Outlaw to be secondary villains for the sequel.
Is this all coming together for ya?
What Wolverine stories, villains and other characters would you like to see in the sequel(s)?
Wolverine 2 is in planning for a possible 2012 release date.