It appears that Hugh Jackman has finally sewn his seed. It has been revealed that the Wolverine star has decided to disband Seed Productions, the company which he's run alongside John Palermo since 2006. Jackman will apparently now focus on his acting career, while Palermo will have a new producing deal at 20th Century Fox, which is where Seed was based.
So does this effect forthcoming Seed productions like Wolverine 2 or Drive?
The simple answer is no. Any film that is already in production at Seed will continue along its chosen path with both Jackman and Palermo serving as producers; if Jackman or Palermo attach themselves as producers to any new projects, they will do so under a different production banner.
Seed currently has quite a few projects in various stages of development, so the company’s legacy will continue for quite awhile yet. The action thriller Drive is gearing up for a September shoot, with Nicholas Winding Refn wielding the director's megaphone. The film - which stars Ryan Golsing as a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver for a group of robbers - was originally conceived as a Hugh Jackman vehicle. However, Jackman will start shooting Wolverine 2 in January, which led to the him dropping out of Avon Man, which is also filming in the coming months. Seed has a slew of other projects further down the development ladder - these include a P.T. Barnum musical and a remake of the 1956 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel.
In 2006 Seed probably seemed like a good idea for Jackman. It was a way of developing projects for the actor, in order to help him break away from his Wolverine image. It's similar to what Pierce Brosnan did during his tenure as James Bond - he set up Irish DreamTime, a company which produced films including The Thomas Crown Affair and The Matador. However, four years with Seed only yielded three films for Jackman: X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine and the ill-fated (and little seen) erotic thriller, Deception. Not exactly the best way for an actor to break away from his perceived image.
It’ll be interesting to see where Jackman’s career goes from here. He’s a huge star on Broadway, but he hasn’t yet cracked Hollywood. Yes, he’s well-known and his career is far from being in trouble - however, he’s never really headlined a hit outside of the Marvel universe. His highest-grossing film away from Wolverine is Van Helsing – which isn’t the type of thing that you should boast about. With Seed disbanded, we might just get to see a new side of Hugh Jackman.
In the meantime, Jackman is getting in shape for his fifth appearance as Wolverine. The film starts shooting in Japan in January, although at this stage no director is attached to it.