Producer Lauren Shuler Donner has been with the X-Men franchise from the beginning and she knows all of the ins and outs of its various sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. In the latest issue of Empire, she provides updates on future X-Men films, Deadpool, and The Wolverine. Speaking about the core franchise, Donner explains that the upcoming prequel X-Men: First Class doesn’t mean we’re done with X-Men films set in the present day:
“We took the treatment to Fox and they love it… And X4 leads into X5,”
Of course, a treatement is a long way from anything substantive happening on the sequels and it will be interesting to see how Fox proceeds based on the box office for First Class. Hit the jump for what Donner had to say about Deadpool and Wolverine. X-Men: First Class opens June 3rd.
While Empire spoke to Donner about The Wolverine before Darren Aronofsky left the project, she still spoke vaguely about how the new film will be different from the atrocious X-Men Origins: Wolverine:
“It will have depth and a dramatic backbone. And yet there’s more action in this one than in any one we’ve ever done. It’s such a good script. We have the great Christopher McQuarrie writing and it’s very true to the Japanese saga. This is Logan on his own…”
Thankfully, Donner has more concrete things to say about the upcoming Deadpool spinoff. First off, she reiterates that the movie won’t acknowledge Origins beyond having Ryan Reynolds reprise his role as Wade Wilson/Deadpool and possibly poking fun at it:
“[Deadpool will be] a total reboot. We’re either going to pretend that didn’t happen, or mock it, which he could do.”
I vote “mocking”. It breaks the fourth wall (which is what the Deadpool comics do) and it helps explain to any confused audience members why the same actor is playing the character but nothing from Origins is being used.
“You’ll see all of them. You’ll see Wade Wilson, the good-looking Ryan Reynolds! You’ll see Deadpool in his costume and you’ll see the cancer-scarred face.”
As long as we don’t see “Implanted katana blades that are longer than my arms”-Deadpool, I’m good.
The project is still looking for a director, but Donner hopes that the film will shoot in the next year or so. Donner also says “It’s an R script, it’s really irreverent and violent. Right away, we’re out of the X-Men world,” but that’s a tough sell on any superhero movie unless it’s got a relatively low-budget like Punisher: War Zone.
Another problem may be finding time in Ryan Reynolds’ busy schedule. He’s currently shooting the thriller Safe House with Denzel Washington, and he’s also attached to R.I.P.D. and an untitled buddy-cop movie with Bradley Cooper. You can also bet that if Green Lantern is a success, Warner Bros. is going to rush to get a sequel into production. Hopefully, Reynolds can find time for the “Merc with a Mouth” since it sounds like one of the more interesting superhero movies that’s currently in development.