I know that most of you out there won't consider that to be much of a choice, but I dare the casual to die-hard comic book /adaptation movie fan to think of other superhero spin-off movies. Now there have been a few movies that are spin-off characters like BLADE or STEEL, but their connections to SPIDERMAN and SUPERMAN (respectively) were completely erased from their stories and some people didn't even realize they had quite mainstream origins.
Scruffy sure, but not quite scarry enough.
Now you may be asking where I am going with this. It is simple, the movie titled WOLVERINE: ORIGINS has started second unit filming with Gavin Hood as director, written by David Benioff and co-produced by Hugh Jackman. This movie will detail the history of how a feral young Canadian man became Wolverine which will not be an easy task. The reason for that is that there is so much history involved in how he got his claws, his healing factor, his adamantium skeletal lining and who he truly is. The true Wolvie fan knows all of this (including the name James Howlett and who that is.) Unfortunately, much like anything produced for mass consumption, this is not going to be solely written for the berserker's loyal following (snickt!)
Now I am about to break this down for you, Stan-the-man style, true believers. Much like in SPIDERMAN 3 (I am of course referring to how Spiderman got the alien symbiot suit in the movie as apposed to getting it on an alien spaceship during the Secret Wars story-line in the comics the way it should have been), the film-makers are going to leave out a lot of history regarding Wolverine's youth. They may touch on his powers manifesting, but they won't mention how he started off as a weak and ill son of rich plantation owners in late 19th Century Canada (yeah he is that old, eh.) They may make a passing
reference to his teen years, but I doubt they will show how he spent the bulk of that time working in a stone quarry, hunting with wolves by night and pining for a redhead (yeah big shocker there) named Rose. They will most likely start off the movie in a similar manner as the trade paperback Weapon Xwith Logan getting kidnapped from a bar after serving time in the Canadian military and taken away to the Weapon X facility at the Alkali flats.
I can act, I swear I did it in a Black Eyed Peas video!
That's fine; I have come to accept that the movie industry still doesn't understand that the casual fan demographic they are predominately catering to will probably see the movie once in the theatrical release, rent and/or buy a barebones/special featureless copy of it on DVD and the forget all about it (as apposed to fans like me who will go see the standard and IMAX theatrical release multiple times, buy merchandise to support the movie such as t-shirts, posters and comic books, buy the special/deluxe/limited/variant cover edition of the DVD and then the .5 edition of it a year or two later.) I realize that a big portion of money made on a movie is from its opening weekend so unless fans buy multiple tickets and see it multiple times on said opening weekend, there isn't much of a voice to be heard. This brings me to my point, my voice. I am bout to run through the pros and cons of what I know (which is very much subject to speculation and/or change) about this movie.
Liev Schreiber has been cast as Victor Creed / Sabretooth. I see this as a big mistake for a few reasons. First off this guy isn't very intimidating in the manner needed to play the ruthless killerSabertooth. Sure he was cold and heartless in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, but that was a different personality type. Second he is listed as being 6'3" on IMDB which wouldn't be a big (no pun intended) deal
if it weren't for the fact that Hugh Jackman, who will be playing Wolverine (who I might add is supposed to be 5'3" from his comic book statistics) his rival is also 6'3" which kind ruins the whole "David vs. Goliath dynamic in their rivalry. And the third reason follows the saying "if it's not broken, don't fix it." By that I mean Tyler Mane did a great job in the first X-MEN movie and hoped (according to Wikipedia) to reprise the role. I guess his name wasn't big enough to reprise the role he pretty much filled better than Bill Murray as GARFIELD.
Too bad his face will becovered in prosthetic burns.
Will.i.am has been cast as John Wraith / Kestrel. This is an issue for me because it seems to be trend to get hip hop and rap stars in movies based on the fact they "act" a little in their videos occasionally and a few like Will Smith, Ice Cube, LL Cool J, Marky Mark, Queen Latifah and Ice Tea started out in the music industry and moved on to successful film and TV careers. This is not a Common (yes that is a pun) occurrence and I hope film-makers realize this before casting some fifteen minutes riding rapper so the movie has "street cred" or "flavor."
David North is a character in this movie as he was in the original comic, but he is going by the code-name Agent Zero. He didn't actually use that code-name in the comics until much more recent years. When he first made his first appearance his code-name was Maverick. He lost his mutant powers (along with the other 90% of the mutant population in the story line "Decimation M") and had to regain them artificially. All of that changed his character from an honorable hero to a cut-throat vigilante which was reflected in his name change. I hope they start him out properly.
Ryan Reynolds has been cast as Wade Wilson / Deadpool. This
one is pretty self explanatory to me, but I will annoy you all with my reasoning anyway. First off has proven he can be a funny, whacky, goofy smartass in VAN WILDER. He has proven has can be serious and heroic in BLADE TRINITY and Smokin' Aces. I also am a huge Deadpool. He is one of my favorite hero/villains dubbed the "Merc with a mouth." He is what Spiderman would be if he were a mercenary and realized he was in fact in a comic book (which Deadpool is quite aware of, sometimes even talking to the reader and breaking the invisible fourth wall.) For some reason I feel like Reynolds is right for this part.
Bow to a true Mon Ami.
Remy LeBeau / Gambit is in this movie. That's right; the ragin Cajun is going to be in this movie. If this is done properly and they bring over his charm and chemistry he had with Wolverine in the comics it will be great. He was constantly getting on Wolvie's nerves, but there wasn't a time that he wasn't there when needed.
" The inclusion of Deadpool and Gambit also leads to the possibilities of their own spin-offs." is quoted from Wikipedia. Now this isn't chiseled in stone, or even written in sharpie on a totally washable surface, but the very thought makes me giggle in pure glee. For my reasoning, see the two reasons above.
All in all this is being billed as a huge movie and will be highly scrutinized by fans if it falls short of the X-MEN movie franchise from whence it came. I am trying not get my hopes up about this and go in with low expectations, but only time will tell. And when the time comes I will damn sure have a thing or three thousand to say about it, good or bad. After all I am Matchflick's friendly neighborhood comic book movie columnist (despite what anyone else may say.) Excelsior!
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|The Alpha Craig|
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