The secrets behind the origins of Marvel Comics’ most popular mutant Wolverine remained murky and mysterious in the comic books for decades, and the filmmakers behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine have also been working furiously to keep the curtain drawn on Logan’s cinematic beginnings before the movie bows next May.
But ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype! had a red carpet encounter with the film’s producer, Lauren Shuler Donner (who also oversaw the “X-Men” films as well as a diverse assortment of features, from Pretty in Pink to Free Willy to You’ve Got Mail to the upcoming The Secret Life of Bees), and with a minor pop of the claws in her direction she gave up a few details on Logan’s first solo outing on the big screen and a possible spin-off for the “Merc with a Mouth,” Deadpool.
CS/SHH!: What’s the latest you can tell us about “Wolverine”?
Lauren Schuler Donner: May 1st, 2009! I guess it’s closer to the first “X-Men” in tone because it’s a little darker, but there’s a lot of action. It’s his origin story. It’s really good. I’ve been in the editing room the last couple of weeks and I think that it’s good and that audiences are going to like it. But it’s a little darker.
CS/SHH!: How is Hugh Jackman’s interpretation of the character different or new, compared to what we’ve seen in the “X-Men” films?
Schuler Donner: Well, you haven’t seen this side of him. It’s darker and sadder and it’s kick-ass. There’s a ton of action. It’s really kick-ass.
CS/SHH!: How was working with Gavin Hood as the director?
Schuler Donner: It was fun. It was good. I like taking someone out of the indie world and bringing someone into the action world because it grounds the movie. It gives it a reality. It gives it an emotional core, and then you can have as much fun and action in it as you want.
CS/SHH!: This was Gavin’s first time playing with really big cinematic toys. Was there a learning curve on that for him?
Schuler Donner: Yeah. He had a learning curve, but the thing basically for the director, honestly, it’s sort of like, “Here’s what I want…” and then the visual FX guys create that. Then it’s like, “No. I want it more like this or like that.” A director doesn’t have to know how to do it. They have to know about lighting and shooting someone against green screen and that sort of stuff, but in terms of actually creating it, we do that.
CS/SHH!: And Ryan Reynolds is playing Deadpool.
Schuler Donner: Yes. Ryan Reynolds is playing Deadpool… he plays Wade Wilson.
CS/SHH!: Is that in hopes of a “Deadpool” spin-off film?
Schuler Donner: I hope so. I really hope so. He’s so good at it.
CS/SHH!: Are there any comic book storylines in particular that the movie is drawing from?
Schuler Donner: There’s an “X-Men: Origins” that some of it is pulled from, and then it’s sort of an amalgamation of some of them. But “X-Men: Origins” sort of goes back into his young, young past, and we started there. [Note: Schuler Donner is referring to the 2001 Origin miniseries by Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins, Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove].
CS/SHH!: And is the Stan Lee cameo obligatory at this point, even though he didn’t personally create Wolverine?
Schuler Donner: Well, we shot in Australia, and so we don’t have a Stan.
CS/SHH!: Oh no… Maybe he can get placed in the background digitally?
Schuler Donner: Yeah, I know. Oh, you know what, we’re doing some additional shooting in January and that’s a good idea. I love Stan!
CS/SHH!: And on a personal note… you’re about to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
Schuler Donner: Yes, I am. I’m so excited.
CS/SHH!: What’s it like getting THAT phone call?
Schuler Donner: I was literally jumping up and down. I’m from Ohio and who gets a star, really?
CS/SHH!: You expect people in your movies to get them, but…
Schuler Donner: Oh, of course. I went to Halle Berry’s and that was cool, but me? It’s great. And my husband [“Superman” director Richard Donner] is getting one and they’re going to be next to each other. It’s so great. I’m so excited.