Geekwatch: The Wolverine, X-Men and The Hobbit
Welcome to geekwatch, your nerds-eye view on the week’s entertainment news. From spaceships to spandex we tackle the subjects that really matter like what we can expect from the upcoming Wolverine sequel, how X-Men can survive without Matthew Vaughn and just what would Bilbo and co. order from Denny’s.
In amongst The X-Men, The Avengers and Warner Bros. plans to reinvigorate the JLA; one superhero project that’s fallen under the radar a little of late has been Hugh Jackman’s return as Wolverine. The sequel to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine will see the Australian action star return to the role that he’s made his own giving fans another opportunity to enjoy the much-loved comic book character on the silver screen.
Up until recently information about the Australian-based production has been few and far between. What we do know is that the film will stick closely to Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s iconic 1982 comics in which the Canadian hero travels to Japan and goes sword to claw with ninjas, yakuza and the Silver Samurai in a bid to win back the love of his life, Mariko Yashida. Distinctly dark in tone, the story is widely credited for launching the raging Canuck into the comic book big leagues.
Up until recently it was widely expected that The Wolverine, which will be landing in a multiplex near you in 2013, would be a prequel. But speaking during an exclusive livechat with MSN, Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold dismissed the idea and set the scene for the upcoming sequel:
“Essentially this film situates itself after the three X-Men movies that already exist, and finds Logan at a point when the X-Men are gone, Jean Grey is gone, a lot of the ties he had to the world are gone,” Mangold said. “I wanted to place this movie and this story somewhere where Hugh and I could develop a movie which could create its own world, wasn’t having to in a sense hand-off to another movie or answer to another movie; that we could do what we were going to do and take him where we were going to take him. It’s also a really interesting place to find Logan, which is when all the intimate connections he had to the world has been either destroyed or broken.”
It’s an interesting admission. Especially so seeing as traditional Wolverine lore sets the story before his time with The X-Men, whilst some of the on-set pics which have made it onto the web show Logan with bone claws and on the battlefields of World War II. Clearly then we can expect The Wolverine to skip around the character’s timeline. We can also expect to see the definitive take on Wolverine on the silver screen. Jackman admitted that “…from X-Men one, my secret dream was always to shoot this particular arc of the Logan story.” Talking about The Wolverine he also said: “physically, emotionally it had to go further. You have to see him lower, more desperate more at stake than ever before."
All of which bodes well for the sequel as does the director’s description of the movie previously as a "Japanese noir picture with tentpole action in it.” Hopefully that means that we may finally get to see a film that does justice to one of the most loved characters in the comic book universe.
Part of Wolverine’s appeal is his brutality, the man is after all a walking weapon whose got plenty of blood on his claws. Whilst his mutant teammates on The X-Men tend to toe the non-lethal superhero path, Wolverine isn’t afraid to get his claws dirty, but this is a side of his character that hasn’t really translated to the character’s family friendly adventures in The X-Men trilogy or Gavin hood’s rather muddled attempt at an origin story in 2009.
After films like Christopher Nolan’s Dark
Knight trilogy, it’s clear that audiences have an appetite for the
gritty end of the superhero spectrum, so hopefully the time is right for
Wolverine to cut a bloody swathe through cinemas.
Matthew Vaughn drops out of X-Men: Days of Future Past
Sticking with the Marvel Universe’s pre-eminent mutants for a moment, the other big news on the geek grapevine this week is that British director Matthew Vaughn has pulled out of the upcoming sequel to his hit 2011 reboot X-Men: First Class.
Vaughn had originally agreed to return to the franchise back in January but last week announced that he’d be stepping away from the director’s chair, though he’s still set to be involved as a producer. The news is no doubt a blow for fans though. After enjoying Vaughn’s inventive take on the characters many fanboys and girls were looking forward to seeing how the Kick-Ass director would handle one of the most popular stories from the comic book canon. But if reports are to be believed this particular cloud could have a very interesting silver lining.
With a release date set for 2014, Fox are understandably anxious to get a replacement in place as quickly as possible, which could open the door for Bryan Singer to return to the franchise he started back in 2000. Singer was previously involved in First Class as a producer and was set to take on a similar role for the sequel. However with the director’s chair now vacant he could be tempted to take over the reigns of a franchise he laid firm foundations for more than a decade ago.
Singer’s films, especially X2, still stand-up on repeated viewing.
And whilst the landscape for superheroes in the cinema has changed, it would be
intriguing to see how he handles an update on the heroes he has such an affinity
with. If nothing more fans can rest assured that they’d have a director who
knows the source material inside and out, and a figure who can hopefully steady the
ship. After all, whilst the franchise can survive without Vaughn at the helm,
if his exit were to be followed by the likes of McAvoy and Fassbender then the
X-Men could be set for another spell on the cinema sidelines.
Ever wondered where Middle Earth’s diminutive residents chow down after a hard day’s Hobbiting? The answer is Denny’s apparently. Yes in the least likely marketing tie in ever, it’s been announced that the restaurant chain will have a special menu to tie-in with Peter Jackson’s upcoming return to Middle-Earth. So whether you’re looking for lunch, dinner or second breakfast, from November 6th you can enjoy dishes like the Gandalf Gobble, the Shire Sausage Skillet and presumably the one onion ring to rule them all.
Are you excited about The Wolverine, can X-Men survive without Matthew Vaughn and will you be popping down for a second breakfast at Denny’s? Why not let us know your thoughts on the week in geek in the comments section below.
- Daniel Bettridge