Wolvie DVD and sequel

The X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE DVD and Blu-ray comes out September 15th (today!). In honor of that Marvel-ous event, I recently got to head over to the Fox lot for a presentation by director Gavin Hood and producer Laura Shuler Donner. Both formats are packed with extras, but the main focus of the presentation was the Blu-ray, which includes an truly impressive list of visual goodies. During the event, we were shown a bit of “The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with X-Men Creators Stan Lee and Len Wein” and a featurette detailing Hugh Jackman’s extensive physical preparation for the role. In addition to the hours of work to pump up those guns, he ate a pretty hardcore protein diet. They would have to pause filming so he could wolf down enough food to maintain his physique. Seven meals a day! We also got a peek at a deleted scene where Stryker (Danny Huston) gives Wolverine a chance to make all his problems disappear by erasing his memory.

With the adoption of the Blu-ray format came scores of useless features. Most of the time, I have little to no interest in them. But WOLVERINE is debuting a feature that I guarantee will be in constant use in my house. If you guys are anything like me, your movie viewing involves constant pausing to check IMDB. “Live Lookup” lets you access that site’s info on the cast, crew and the movie itself while watching the film. (And no laptop burning your thighs.) I know I sound like a commercial here, but I’m seriously digging this. The interface is pretty non-invasive, and you can either have it up over the film, or shrink the picture. The info updates every time you sign on.

After the presentation, Hood and Shuler Donner did a brief Q&A, answering questions about the Blu-ray format, choosing which of the many Wolverine storylines to base the film on, and the sequel.

Do you think the fans are starting to get more excited about adopting Blu-ray?

Gavin Hood: Certainly from my side, yes, but then we’re here in L.A. and we’re folks who love movies of a certain quality. I think it’s the same with all new stuff, whether it’s the iPhone or Blu-ray. The fact is, it’s not going to go away, it’s only going to replace. It’s a better technology, just as we lost VHS at a certain point. I think it’s a wonderful new medium and I was as surprised as anyone when they told me that it could actually do stuff like a live feed. That’s incredible. The next step is, what, I don’t know, if we decided we really want to add a deleted scene we could [upload] it to you on your Blu-ray…

Does the success of the first film give you greater liberty to take an original approach or does it put more pressure on you to maintain truth to the source material?

Lauren Schuler Donner: I think it’s our responsibility to remain true to the source material. There are other influences and other factors that make us deviate from it, the first of which being transcribing it to the screen. We certainly are fully aware of the fan base and try in every way possible to stay close to the source material. I think in WOLVERINE it was a little bit different because there was a lot of different source material, a lot of different legends in Victor Creed’s relationship to Logan and Logan’s background. There were some choices we had to make. Certainly in WOLVERINE 2,’ in the Japanese saga, we will stay very close to the source material. I think it’s just best that way.

Hood: The truth is, what freaked me out a little when I was doing my research was that I was looking for the definitive origin story of WOLVERINE. And, of course, any of you who know the comics know that doesn’t entirely exist because this guy’s been written about for 40 years by many different writers, different illustrators. Wolverine’s been drawn wearing a yellow spandex suit and he’s been drawn about wearing jeans and a jacket. The truth is, all of these versions are from source material. The origin story of him as a kid and the bone claws happening and the hint that Victor Creed may be his half brother. In the original draft, when we looked at it without him being a half brother, there wasn’t as much emotional connection between the hero and the villain. So we had to make the choices that were right for this movie. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other options that other writers have written. I just prefer to do a movie with him in jeans and a leather jacket rather than yellow spandex. (Laughs)

One of the deleted scenes shows a young version of Storm. Did any other characters appear that got cut?

Hood: Other than Storm, I don’t think so. Storm’s the only one that didn’t make the movie because there’s only so many characters you can put in without it feeling a little cluttered. Lauren made the point, I think rightly, that none of the other movies have Storm giving any hint of having met Logan.

Given that this is part of a franchise and there are alternate endings where he’s drinking to remember, did you give thought to what a potential sequel might be?

Hood: I knew everyone was excited by the story in Japan, which I then read and I absolutely do think is a wonderful story and they should do it. But it didn’t affect 99 percent of the film we were making. He moves to another land, so no, I think we were focused on the film we were making because we didn’t know if there would or wouldn’t be a sequel.

Gavin, you’ve talked about pouring through the 40 years of material when you came into this. Aside from the Japan storyline, were there other stories besides what you used that you thought you might put aside for a sequel if you got that chance?

Hood: I just think that the Japanese story is so iconic and beautiful and could be so visual. That’s the one and I’m reluctant to talk about others because I know Len [Wein]’s writing others now. And honestly, here’s the truth: if the Japanese story works, there might be another sequel. And if it doesn’t, there won’t be. You can get ahead of yourselves by sort of stirring up rumors of what might be. I’m not going to even go there.

I don’t even know if I would be involved. Right now I’m not attached. Nobody’s attached. They’re developing a script and we’ll see where everybody is. I’m hoping to be shooting something next year and I don’t think that ‘Wolverine’ will be ready for next year. I haven’t been approached one way or another. The studio is obviously very cautious. They want to see how Wolverine does on DVD. Let them develop the script, let’s see what the script looks like, let’s see how the studio feels about the script, how Hugh feels about it and then we’ll take it from there.

Source: JoBlo.com



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