You remember that X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie from 2009, don't you? Despite our best efforts, we do, too! And the idea of a sequel has been filling us with dread, especially since Darren Aronofsky walked off the project. The current director, James Mangold of Girl, Interrupted fame, recently spoke about his interpretation of the character, and it gave us some hope.
Mangold (whose previous credits include 3:10 to Yuma and, yes, the Hugh Jackman fantasy romcom Kate and Leopold) was hesitant at first about the idea of taking on the film, considering all the negative press surrounding it. Seeing an opportunity to work with Jackman again and make a superhero film that was more unconventional than the usual fare, Mangold decided it was worth the risk. With regard to the project, Mangold had this to say:
"It's a kind of adventure following such a unique character also in a really unique environment. I mean, the fact that half of the characters in this movie speak Japanese, this is like a foreign-language superhero movie that's as much a drama and a detective story and a film noir, with high-octane action as it is anything like a conventional tentpole film... I think part of the reason I'm doing this picture has been because it isn't, to me, a conventional superhero movie. It isn't an origin story, so I'm freed from that burden, and it also isn't a save-the-world movie, which most of them are. It's actually a character piece; I actually think it has more in common with The Outlaw Josey Wales and Chinatown, what we're doing, than the conventional, 'will Wolverine and his compatriots save the world from this thermonuclear device' question."
We're really glad to hear that there's no intention to do-over X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Far too many films (we're looking at you, Amazing Spider-Man) are stuck on the idea of telling the origin of a superhero over and over again. Wolverine's been alive for a very long time, so it's not as though there aren't plenty of stories to play with. On the subject of Logan's near-endless existence, Mangold said, "What is it to live forever, when you lose everyone you've ever loved? Either you watch them get killed, or you just lose them by attrition. What is it to feel the burden of saving mankind through all of its mistakes, over and over and over again ..."
Mangold is working with writer Mark Bomback to retool the script, which is based on an old (and great) Chris Claremont story from 1982. Perhaps more important than anything else, Hugh Jackman himself remains extremely excited about the sequel.
How about you, though? Are you feeling more excited for The Wolverine now?