In 2000, “X-Men” was the first superhero movie to step into the American mainstream after the Superman and Batman franchises had committed suicide through atrocious movies. Whatever you may think of the three “X-Men” movies and “Wolverine”, there’s no denying that it’s box office juggernaut (and a more convincing and powerful one than Vinnie Jones). With that in mind, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who has been with the series from the very beginning, recently provided updates on the continuing mutation of “Wolverine 2″, “X-Men: First Class”, “Deadpool”, and Magneto”. Hit the jump to learn about projects that aren’t a fourth “X-Men” movie.
“That’s the furthest along of all the X-Men projects on the boil.” Says Donner. We already know that this movie would be set in Japan and based on the comic-book arc co-written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, but Donner says they’re going for authenticity…although the characters will speak English rather than Japanese with subtitles.
Donner doesn’t mention if they’ll turn Yuriko into Lady Deathstrike and if they do, how they’ll explain why the two don’t recognize each other in “X2″. May I suggest adamantium memory bullets?
As for screenwriter Chris McQuarrie, Donner had this to say:
We wanted an A+ writer, so we want to Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie, The Usual Suspects). He came in and has tightened the story and got really immersed in the whole thing – he’s in Japan in his head!
There has to be some grade inflation there because “Way of the Gun” is one of the worst movies of the 2000s. But I guess we have to cross our fingers and hope that this sequel is far superior to its predecessor. A good start would be having CG that didn’t look like they rushed through it before they had to class. And speaking of class…
X-Men: First Class
While it seems like Donner wants this movie to be both fun, adventurous, and dark, she says they’re modeling the flick off the recent “Harry Potter” movies so at least they’re aiming high.
However, there’s no word if there will be any continuity across these spinoffs. For instance, Donner had this to say about Cyclops’ role in the film:
Cyclops, for example – he’s a tough kid that bobbed from foster home to foster home, until he ends up at the school and becomes the leader. There’s also still an element of friction between the mutants and the outside world. Remember that this will be set way back before anyone knew mutants existed.
I guess if you ignore all the modern dress and technology, “Wolverine” could technically take place in the late-70s, early-80s which would make Cyclops’ meeting with CGI-face Patrick Stewart fit in with the time-line for “X-Men: First Class”.
Donner also notes that they want to turn this spin-off into a franchise (because if you stop at just one movie, then really what’s the point?) and casting is a “all-important” because the intent is to follow the students as they go through school…like they do in “Harry Potter”.
“I want to ignore the version of Deadpool that we saw in Wolverine and just start over again. Reboot it. Because this guy talks, obviously, and to muzzle him would be insane.”
Yes, if only some producer had been around on “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” to say that was a dumb idea.
Donner says everything fans want to hear:
“He is a bad ass, a wise-cracking mercenary, who will go out and kill anyone for money.”
“It’s going to be a dark, snarky, very funny movie.”
But she also admits that it’s the hardest story to tell. I would agree…if they want to make it as a PG-13 movie. I know it’s hard to make an expensive, summer blockbuster with an “R” rating but it would set “Deadpool” apart and if they want to make this a franchise (and they do), then it can’t just blend in with all the other “X-Men” movies.
As for folks worried about Ryan Reynolds playing both Green Lantern and Deadpool, Donner makes an excellent point:
“I mean, look at Harrison Ford – he was in Stars Wars and Indiana Jones at the same time and everyone was fine with that. Green Lantern could not be more different to Wade Wilson. Green Lantern is a guy who finds a ring and is thrust into this world, much like Spider-Man. Wade Wilson is a guy who unfortunately gets cancer, and volunteers for a test that will give him healing powers.”
While Donner loves David Goyer’s script, she doesn’t have high hopes we’ll be seeing the master of magnetism any time soon:
“But you know, I’m not sure that film is going to be made. The studio has a wealth of potential stories, and they have to stand back and decide which ones to make. And Magneto, I think, is at the back of the queue. Maybe it’ll get made in five years – who knows?”
She goes on to say that it will be tough to find the right actor to play young Magneto because it’s too cost prohibitive to digitally de-age Ian McKellan. I would also say that it’s technologically prohibitive because it doesn’t look very convincing.
Click here to read the full interview about all four movies.