Sunday, October 18, 2009

Producer Updates on 'X-Men' Franchise

In an interview with Empire Online, producer Lauren Shuler Donner has shed further light on upcoming films in the "X-Men" franchise.

Although the interview doesn't give us any more detail on the "X-Men 4" and "New Mutants" projects that Donner had previously mentioned, it does talk about "Wolverine 2," "X-Men Origins: Magneto," "X-Men: First Class" and "Deadpool."

As teased at the end of "Wolverine" and widely rumored directly after its release, "Wolverine 2" will take place in Japan as Logan learns to control some of his more beast-like tendencies. It is the furthest along of all the possible "X-Men" films and will actual be made in Japan.

Says Donner:
"It's actually the story we wanted to use for the first Wolverine film, but [Fox head honcho] Tom Rothman preferred to set the character up with an origin story first. This movie will really focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. We're very fortunate to have a story mostly outlined for us [from the comic book arc co-written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller]. And we wanted an A+ writer, so we want to Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie, The Usual Suspects). He came in and has tightened the story and got really immersed in the whole thing - he's in Japan in his head!

What's cool about this part of the saga is that Wolverine will be fighting in a different style to what we've seen before. Mariko's father has this stick-like weapon, so Wolverine will have to fight against that. There'll be samurai, ninja, katana blades, different forms of martial arts - mano-a-mano, extreme fighting. We're going to come up with a new style of fighting. It's going to be awesome."

Deadpool was pretty disrespected in "Wolverine," but the good news is that the solo-"Deadpool" flick starring Ryan Reynolds will be a re-launch of the character's mojo. As in: breaking the fourth wall and starting over without having his mouth sewn shut.

Says Donner:
"We're right in the thick of talking to writers right now, and hopefully by November we'll have decided who's going to do it. We need someone really imaginative because we want to do some really innovative, ambitious stuff. Ryan's mentioned this in an interview already but there are parts where he's going to break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience in the cinema. We have to work out how to do that. I don't know that Fox will agree with all our decisions, but we'll see!"

"X-Men: First Class" is teased at the end of "Wolverine" when Professor X makes a cameo, and according to Donnor will be the X-Men Universe by the way of "Harry Potter." As in: lots of hormone-charged kids with superpowers fighting evil and each other.

Says Donner: "Right now the script is not done -we're not where we want to be yet. We have to be careful that we don't tread on familiar territory, that people don't say, 'Oh, I've seen that, been there.' But (screenwriter) Josh Schwartz has a great young pulse and he's doing an amazing job bringing the characters to life. We want to make this a franchise, following these kids at the school, so the casting of the child actors will be all-important."

At first it looked like "Magneto" would launch a series of "Origins" stories, but Wolverine and Hugh Jackman proved to be a better vehicle for fan service. Now, "Magneto" is at the end of the line out of all the possible "X-Men" films.

Says Donner:
"David Goyer has written a brilliant script. It starts in the concentration camps and has Magneto coming out of there. But you know, I'm not sure that film is going to be made. The studio has a wealth of potential stories, and they have to stand back and decide which ones to make. And Magneto, I think, is at the back of the queue. Maybe it'll get made in five years - who knows?"

What are your thoughts on "Wolverine 2" going full steam ahead while "Magneto" is on the backburner? Are the "Deadpool" and "First Class" plans to your liking?

More news to come! Catch ya' later!
Sources: The Geek Files, Latino Review

No comments: