Comic book fans had been looking so carefully at the alleged troubles of The Punisher and The Watchmen that we took our eyes off Hugh Jackman's Wolverine*. I call it Hugh Jackman's Wolverine because he is the star, and because it looks like it may not be director Gavin Hood's Wolverine.
It may in fact be Fox Co-Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman's Wolverine!
The studio chief is apparently worried that the film will be too dark and he's overriding the decisions of the films director in order to give it a lighter tone.
Maybe you should be.
*technically the film is called X-Men Origins: Wolverine - but I don't really like that title.
According to Hollywood Elsewhere there has been a bit of friction between Hood and Rothman on the set recently. When I say a bit, what I really mean is "a hell of a lot." Hood is supposed to have asked for a "huge" set to be painted so that it would appear "dark, dinghy and somber side", however when the director returned to the set a few days later it had been repainted a brighter color at the behest of Rothman.
Not a big deal, I hear some of you saying. Well, directors are supposed to have a vision - that is why they are usually hired--but it looks like Rothman's vision is all that matters here. In fact, some might say that he's robbing Hood of his duties, but I wouldn't be so crass as to make such a bad pun. Whoops, just did.
Rothman wants a mega grossing summer movie for summer '09 - which is something that the studio lacked this year (X-Files anyone) and it looks like he'll stop at nothing to achieve that no matter how much the quality suffers. It's not like a dark, grim and violent comic book movie could make $500 million in the US alone. Oh, wait - The Dark Knight already did that!
For X-Men fans, or film followers in general, this will leave some of you with flashbacks to how Fox treated X-Men: The Last Stand. It's no secret that Fox has constantly displayed a lack of respect for The X-Men as a property. From rushing the films into production, to giving them a relatively low budget, Fox has treated the franchise like an unwanted obligation, which is odd considering the amount of money X-men has made.
While this painting and decorating issue could be a one time event, there are rumblings that there have been other problems on the set. With a bit of luck it could be that everyone has so much passion for the project that they want it to succeed - because if it's successful it would launch a huge (Jackman?) franchise.
Fingers crossed folks. When there's more news you'll get it here!
X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens on May 1, 2009
Source: Hollywood Elsewhere