Wolverine Set for May 1, 2009

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20th Century Fox has set a May 1, 2009 release date for Hugh Jackman starrer X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which director Gavin Hood (Rendition, Tsotsi) begins shooting later this year. David Benioff wrote the script.

“Wolverine” is expected to feature many other mutants — some new to the film franchise and some from one or more of the three “X-Men” films. Liev Schreiber is reportedly in final talks to take on the role of a younger version of nemesis William Stryker, played by Brian Cox in X2.

As of now, the only other film staking out the May 1, 2009, date is Disney’s animated film G-Force.

The film explores the claw-wielding character Wolverine’s violent and romantic past, and his complex relationship with Victor Creed and the ominous Weapon X program, as well as his encounters with other mutants.

Hood will start shooting in Australia before moving to New Zealand and, later, to New Orleans.

Producing are Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, producers of the “X-Men” movies, along with Jackman and producing partner John Palermo through their Seed Productions. Marvel’s Kevin Feige will executive produce.