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Writer Chris Claremont talks The Wolverine and X-Men: Days of Future Past

Mar. 20, 2013by: Niki Stephens
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You may or may not know this, but writer Chris Claremont is responsible for the original work behind THE WOLVERINE and X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Why no one has really spoken to him extensively about both of the projects is sort of a puzzle to me, but Comicbookresources.com finally decided to get some input from the writer.

First, Claremont discusses THE WOLVERINE, and how the script possibly morphed after Darren Aronofsky dropped the project for other commitments:

"Well, the sad reality of Hollywood, especially as it relates to comic books, is that there is never a direct adaptation of source material. I think "Watchmen" was maybe the only time that that was tried. "The Wolverine" was a project that the producer, Lauren Shuler Donner, has wanted to do ever since I've known her, which is going on better than fifteen years, now. She's loved the story that Frank Miller and I did and has wanted to bring it to the screen. In the story's original incarnation, in Christopher McQuarrie's original screenplay, that was what it was and it was really cool. I mean, I read it; it was good. This is when Darren Aronofsky was going to direct, and then, after last year's Oscars, he decided he had other things that were more pressing and withdrew from the project. The new director came in wanting to bring his own writing crew on the project, wanting to express his own vision, and it has, as I understand, morphed somewhat considerably from the original story. I believe there's a photograph, for example, of Hugh Jackman with the bone claws. Which -- that's really cool, it looks great, but that's not in my story. So I would assume it has morphed considerably. We'll find out this summer."

Should that make me terrified of what THE WOLVERINE might be now? Fox does tend to muck shit up. Then again, it would be nice to see that trailer.

Then Claremont gets into X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST territory. The first thing he mentions is the rumor about the inclusion of Apocalypse:

There was a report online that Bryan Singer was talking about integrating Apocalypse into the "Days of Future Past" storyline, which would obviously be a significant evolution from the original material. Again, this is the nature of Hollywood, or as it seems to approach Marvel product. There is a tremendous amount of synergy between existing concepts and the finished film product.

He continues:

I was instrumental in getting Fox to produce the concept in the first place. I mean, the whole thing was ready to go into turnaround back in 1998-99. I had the serendipity or the karma to write a memo that convinced both Lauren and Fox and Bryan that this was a viable project, and this is how to approach it. I guess you could say my contributions came in a basic level, back in the beginning. You know, I have the pride of looking in the mirror and saying, "None of this would be there if not for me" on a whole different bunch of levels. If Fox wants to utilize my ability, they know where I am. All they have to do is call -- that's their decision.

I didn't know that Claremont had such a part in getting DAYS OF FUTURE PAST going. Good for him, I say. The story is exceptional, and though it might be a challenge, I am happy with how confident he is. As he said, we'll just have to wait for the final outcome.

Source: CBRCBM

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8:59PM on 03/20/2013
All I can say is the more X-Men films the better. Really looking forward to Wolverine and Days of Future Past.
All I can say is the more X-Men films the better. Really looking forward to Wolverine and Days of Future Past.
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2:28AM on 03/21/2013
As far as The Wolverine we never really got a reasonable explanation as to why Aronofsky dropped out but I have no doubt it was because of studio pressure. It's not like he left because it was his dream to make a freaking Noah bibiical pic. Luckily they got a reasonable director to take his place. As far as X_men, like I said I will wait for a trailer to pass judgment.
As far as The Wolverine we never really got a reasonable explanation as to why Aronofsky dropped out but I have no doubt it was because of studio pressure. It's not like he left because it was his dream to make a freaking Noah bibiical pic. Luckily they got a reasonable director to take his place. As far as X_men, like I said I will wait for a trailer to pass judgment.
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7:56AM on 03/21/2013
I believe it was because he was going through a divorce and spending a year in japan would not help in a custody battle
I believe it was because he was going through a divorce and spending a year in japan would not help in a custody battle
5:24AM on 03/21/2013
Any cinematic adaptation has a challenge before it, and the challenge offers film-makers two options, IMO. The adaptation can faithfully re-tell a well-known and beloved story. But, if it attempts faithful re-telling, it must do so very well. The audience knows the story by heart, line, and event, and the audience does not want to be bored. Otherwise, the adaptation must make the story new or fresh in some way. But, if it attempts alteration, the new version must remain true and acceptable to
Any cinematic adaptation has a challenge before it, and the challenge offers film-makers two options, IMO. The adaptation can faithfully re-tell a well-known and beloved story. But, if it attempts faithful re-telling, it must do so very well. The audience knows the story by heart, line, and event, and the audience does not want to be bored. Otherwise, the adaptation must make the story new or fresh in some way. But, if it attempts alteration, the new version must remain true and acceptable to the original. In particular with Hollywood movies, neither artists' egos nor corporate concerns must change the story into something that fans dislike. In other words, the redactions need to be good.
Comic book adaptations have a further challenge that print book adaptations do not. Generally, print books have few illustrations of their characters and settings. Mostly, everyone, from fans to movie-makers, must imagine how the story acceptably looks. And, the audience understands that the cinematic adaptation is just one vision of the story. Therefore, they are more forgiving if the director alters the story's look a bit. On the other hand, comic books are illustrations. They are the storyboards for their later films. Therefore, film-makers have extra pressure to stay acceptably true to the source material. Somehow, they must represent fantastic creatures and characters realistically on-screen. They cannot claim that no one has ever seen the Thing or Galactus or whomever; therefore, he might look as he does in the film.
We shall see what we shall see this summer and later. Honestly, Hollywood sometimes enhances a comic book character once they get a hold of him or her. Just look at what Tim Burton did for Batman. WB altered the character somewhat in the '80s movie, and those changes were so good that they appeared in the comics from that time forward. Sometimes, hardcore comicfans love any changes.
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8:14PM on 03/22/2013
"The audience knows the story by heart, line, and event, and the audience does not want to be bored."

Yes, that was my only problem with Watchmen: when Ozymandias knocked the guy into the fountain I remembered when that happened in the comic and correctly estimated that I was an hour into the movie.
"The audience knows the story by heart, line, and event, and the audience does not want to be bored."

Yes, that was my only problem with Watchmen: when Ozymandias knocked the guy into the fountain I remembered when that happened in the comic and correctly estimated that I was an hour into the movie.
7:11AM on 03/21/2013

"Well, the sad reality of Hollywood, especially as it relates to comic books, is that there is never a direct adaptation of source material"?

I guess the dude missed out on "Sin City" and "300" which were pretty much panel-for-shot adaptations. Overall I'm not too worried Mangold took some liberties, he's a talented fellow and although the mini-series is a fun storyline with lots of iconic moments it's hardly the pinnacle of comic writing. It all comes down to if Wolvie's in Japan fighting ninja's which has been confirmed already, I'm down!
I guess the dude missed out on "Sin City" and "300" which were pretty much panel-for-shot adaptations. Overall I'm not too worried Mangold took some liberties, he's a talented fellow and although the mini-series is a fun storyline with lots of iconic moments it's hardly the pinnacle of comic writing. It all comes down to if Wolvie's in Japan fighting ninja's which has been confirmed already, I'm down!
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8:00AM on 03/21/2013

Adaptations.

When it comes to adapting source material, as a comic reader of course I would like to see things faithfully represented. Not line for line, but there's a reason a story captures it's readers and I hate being able to say, "Well, it wasn't as good as the book." Sometimes it could just be a single moment that I can recall just blew my mind, or brought out some emotion. If they change some things around, that's great - if they're clever, but don't take out that core moment. That's where I feel Fox
When it comes to adapting source material, as a comic reader of course I would like to see things faithfully represented. Not line for line, but there's a reason a story captures it's readers and I hate being able to say, "Well, it wasn't as good as the book." Sometimes it could just be a single moment that I can recall just blew my mind, or brought out some emotion. If they change some things around, that's great - if they're clever, but don't take out that core moment. That's where I feel Fox has failed with most of their adaptations in the past. They just did their own thing and sites sources in the DVD extras which comics they got the "ideas" from, like it was the loosest amalgamation possible.
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8:12AM on 03/21/2013

Marvel Studios.

Marvel Studios does this thing where they somehow change things from the comics, but do it in such a clever way that it feels like a cinematic "Ultimate Universe". The things they change even creatively obscurely reference things from the comics (like turning War Machine into Iron Patriot), so even though it's changed, the fans are like, "Hey, I get that! And it's awesome!" The changes don't feel forced, or come off like the writer thinks he can do better, or insult the readers (Galactus would
Marvel Studios does this thing where they somehow change things from the comics, but do it in such a clever way that it feels like a cinematic "Ultimate Universe". The things they change even creatively obscurely reference things from the comics (like turning War Machine into Iron Patriot), so even though it's changed, the fans are like, "Hey, I get that! And it's awesome!" The changes don't feel forced, or come off like the writer thinks he can do better, or insult the readers (Galactus would look stupid so we made him a cloud). Whatever Marvel is doing, Fox needs to get on board with that.
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9:20AM on 03/21/2013

Sometimes evolution leaps forward

While having Chris Claremont as a consultant on any X-film would be amazing. Sometimes the source material doesn't transfer over well from the comics. Writers have always taken original ideas and put their own twist on them, like what Vaughn and Singer have done. It sounds more like Claremont is annoyed that his ideas are being tampered with.
While having Chris Claremont as a consultant on any X-film would be amazing. Sometimes the source material doesn't transfer over well from the comics. Writers have always taken original ideas and put their own twist on them, like what Vaughn and Singer have done. It sounds more like Claremont is annoyed that his ideas are being tampered with.
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