“A Samurai without a Master”: Matt Revisits THE WOLVERINE

by     Posted 215 days ago

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[With X-Men: Days of Future Past opening on Friday, I'm taking a look back at the X-Men movie franchise.  These reviews contain spoilers.]

Personally, I like it when the X-Men work as a team.  When I first tuned in to watch the animated TV series as a kid, I didn’t know superheroes could work in more than a team of two (Batman and Robin were the limit).  And having a big team meant that I could be a part of the adventure as long as I liked one of the characters.  The X-Men were outsiders, but they were a group of outsiders, and together they could fight giant robots, talking pterodactyls, intergalactic civil war, and plenty of other problems that we all face on a daily basis.

Logan has always been the character in between two worlds—the loner who’s a valuable part of the team (and when I look across comic book covers today, he’s apparently on every team).  In his second shot at a spin-off he truly broke off from the team, and although the film was the furthest departure from the X-Men world so far, The Wolverine was still tethered to the franchise’s past; it also managed to serve as a comment on our blockbuster present.

Hugh Jackman Talks X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Joe Wright’s PAN, Filming X-MEN: APOCALYPSE and Next WOLVERINE Movie Back-to-Back, and More

by     Posted 218 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.  As most of you know, Days of Future Past finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) having his consciousness sent back to 1973 in order to help Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the rest of the X-Men: First Class crew stop the rise of the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to exterminate mutants.  The film also takes place in the future, so we’re going to see the original X-Men cast and what will happen if Wolverine fails.  I caught a screening last week and am very happy to report the film is great.  It’s loaded with awesome character moments and tons of mutant action.  You’re all going to love it.  For more on the film, watch these five clips and nine minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, and click here for all of our coverage.

At the New York City press day, I landed a great video interview with Hugh Jackman.  He talked about the challenge of putting the two casts in the same film, how he’d like to shoot  X-Men: Apocalypse and the next Wolverine movie back to back, his thoughts on another actor taking on the role when he retires or having Fox reboot the character, how he still enjoys playing Logan, Joe Wright’s Pan, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Hugh Jackman Talks Leaving the Character of Wolverine Behind; Considers Whether He’d Rather Be Rebooted or Replaced

by     Posted 223 days ago

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For all intents and purposes, Hugh Jackman is The Wolverine.  His performance of the X-Men character has now spanned over a decade and seven feature films, and whenever one thinks of Wolverine, Jackman’s portrayal immediately comes to mind.  However, Jackman can’t play the character forever, and though at the age of 45 he arguably looks even better as Wolverine than he did in the 2000 film, the actor has admitted that his time as the character will come to a close sooner rather than later.  We know that he will return in the 2016 sequel X-Men: Apocalypse and most likely in another standalone feature, but beyond that, the future is uncertain.

Steve recently spoke with Jackman in anticipation of his seventh portrayal of the character in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and during the course of their conversation he asked Jackman if he’d rather see another actor simply replace him as Wolverine or if he’d rather see the character completely rebooted.  He also discussed how he’s taking inspiration from Jerry Seinfeld in leaving the character behind, though he noted that right now he doesn’t want to let go because the scripts are so good.  Read on after the jump.

Wolverine to Appear in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE; Will Likely Shoot Back-to-Back with Next WOLVERINE Movie

by     Posted 227 days ago

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With X-Men: Days of Future Past only a couple weeks away (so excited!), the X-Men franchise is showing no signs of slowing down.  X-Men: Apocalypse is set for May 27, 2016, and the third Wolverine movie hits theaters on March 3, 2017.  That’s a pretty tight window, but we assumed that it wouldn’t be too much of a crunch since the two productions could function independently and could even run concurrently.  We previously reported that Apocalypse would focus more on the First Class crew, and James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult were the only actors confirmed to return.

Except now it looks like Hugh Jackman will be in Apocalypse as well, and the plan is to film back-to-back with Wolverine 3.  Hit the jump for more.

Hugh Jackman Says the Next Solo WOLVERINE Movie Will Probably Be His Last Performance as the Character

by     Posted 236 days ago

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Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine since 2000 and appeared on screen as the character six times with his seventh go-round coming up in X-Men: Days of Future Past.  At this point, fans have started to wonder how much longer he wants to play the character, not because they’re tired of him in the role, but because A) he might want to move on to something else; and B) Wolverine doesn’t really age, and staying in peak physical condition is harder at 45 than it is at 31.

Jackman has previously been evasive about how much longer he’ll play Wolverine, but in a recent interview, the actor said he’s looking to permanently retract the claws after the next solo Wolverine movie.  Hit the jump for more.

Fox Sets Screenwriter David James Kelly for WOLVERINE Sequel; Director James Mangold and Star Hugh Jackman Expected to Return

by     Posted 275 days ago

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On the heels of the news that Fox set a release date for The Wolverine sequel, a new report has the studio tapping screenwriter David James Kelly to pen the script.  His resume is a little light, with only his 2010 short Straw Man making it to production, but he is also behind a rewrite of the planned Daredevil movie reboot.

Perhaps the more interesting tidbit from this write-up is that it confidently asserts that both director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman will return to their respective roles.  We don’t have official word of either being signed on yet, but since their last effort made over $400 million world-wide (and Jackman’s pretty much become synonymous with the title character), it’s a safe bet that Fox will work to get them both back.  Hit the jump for more.

Fox Announces Release Dates for THE FANTASTIC FOUR 2, WOLVERINE Sequel, Untitled Marvel Film, TAKEN 3, Ridley Scott Project, and More [Updated]

by     Posted 277 days ago

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20th Century Fox announced a bunch of release dates tonight:

  • The Fantastic Four reboot is still casting for a 2015 release, but Fox is ready to plan The Fantastic Four 2 for July 14, 2017.
  • The sequel to The Wolverine hits theaters March 3, 2017. [Update: Deadline reports that Fox has set David James Kelly to pen the sequel, which returns James Mangold to the helm with Hugh Jackman starring.]
  • An untitled Marvel film is scheduled for July 13, 2018.
  • Liam Neeson returns for Taken 3 on January 9, 2015.
  • An unspecified Ridley Scott feature is dated for March 4, 2016.
  • Matthew Vaughn‘s The Secret Service (now October 24, 2014) and an untitled Vince Vaughn vehicle (now March 6, 2015) switched release dates.
  • Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe is pushed back from January 16, 2015 to October 2, 2015.

More on the Marvel stuff after the jump.

James Mangold Says He’s Planning to Shoot THE WOLVERINE 2 after Bryan Singer Films X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

by     Posted 281 days ago

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X-Men: Days of Future Past doesn’t hit theaters for a couple more months, but the X-Men movie franchise is humming right along as director Bryan Singer already has his eye on the sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse (a couple days ago, we reported that the film will take place in the 1980s).  But what about the world’s most popular mutant, Wolverine?  Last year, we reported that The Wolverine director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman were planning to make another spin-off featuring the character.  Jackman noted that “there are some really cool ideas“, but didn’t want to move forward until they had something great.

It looks like they still have plenty of time to figure out what that is, but there is at least an idea of when The Wolverine 2 might happen.  Hit the jump for more.  X-Men: Days of Future Past opens in 3D on May 23rd.

Producer Hutch Parker Talks the Quicksilver Sequence, the Possibility of Crossing Over with Marvel, Sentinels, and More on the Set of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

by     Posted 294 days ago

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Last year, when Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past was filming in Montreal, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  For those not familiar with the story, the movie finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) having his consciousness sent back to 1973 in order to help Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the rest of the X-Men: First Class crew stop the rise of the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to exterminate mutants.  The film also takes place in the distant future, so we’re going to see the original X-Men cast and what will happen if Wolverine fails.  Trust me, Days of Future Past is a very cool storyline, and a perfect way to have the old and new cast in one film.

During a break in filming, I participated in a group interview with producer Hutch Parker.  He talked about how the project came together, what it was like the first time Fassbender and Ian Mckellan met, the Quicksilver sequence, the use of 3D, the possibilities of crossing over with Marvel, if they’re planting seeds for where the franchise can go next, the Sentinels, the VFX, Easter eggs, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg Talks the Evolution of the Script, Time Travel, the X-MEN Franchise, and More on the Set of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

by     Posted 306 days ago

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20th Century Fox owns many of my favorite Marvel characters.  Since Marvel has done such an amazing job combining their various characters across their movies, I was wondering when Fox might do something similar with the ones they own.  During a group interview with writer-producer Simon Kinberg on the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past last summer, he revealed the studio was finally thinking about it:

“Fox is a very different place than it was when I made X-Men 3 there. And it’s been evolving since X3 to First Class to this, and there’s no question that the Marvel model has influenced and inspired them. We approached this movie from the standpoint of what to do with the universe rather than what to do with the story. We talked about other Marvel properties at Fox and talked a lot about what the future stories would be, whether they followed the cast in the future or the cast in the past and they’re all about trying to do what Marvel’s done and create different platforms for different stories.”

During the rest of the great interview, Kinberg talked about the evolution of the script, time travel, changes from the comic storyline, the X-Men franchise, having both casts in the film, the challenges of scheduling the various actors, how he approached the Sentinels, and so much more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

TOP 5: Our Favorite Movies of 2013, New Trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, First Trailer for THE RAID 2: BERANDAL, Cinemath

by     Posted 352 days ago

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Because I’ve grown tired of never following through on my New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, this year I’m trying something more attainable: to keep a list of all the movies I watch in 2014. Many thanks to my colleague, Mr. Goldberg, for throwing out a Letterboxd recommendation in this collage of films he watched in 2013. I joined the site shortly after reading his rec and think it’s a great way not only to keep a viewing diary (and actually stick with a resolution for once) but also to create/share your own lists and communicate with fellow movie lovers. If you want to keep up with my 2014 watch diary, check out my Top 10 of 2013, and/or my most anticipated for 2014 then hit me up on Letterboxd by clicking here.

Shameless self-promotion aside, the first Top 5 of 2014 features a recap of Matt, Adam, and Dave’s Top 10 of 2013 lists, a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2video interviews for Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac and more, the great first trailer for writer/director Gareth EvansThe Raid 2: Berandal, and a new installment of Cinemath that breaks down the 2013 box office. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Year in Review: Top 10 Posters of 2013

by     Posted 363 days ago

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We report on a lot of posters and trailers.  These little bits of advertising are crucial in steering fan anticipation for blockbusters or bringing attention to smaller movies.  Posters and trailers serve a purpose, and they’re not easy to make.  Dozens of posters and trailers are created for movies, and studios carefully select the ones they feel will work the best and have the broadest appeal.  Sadly, when it comes to posters, many of the designs are generic.  The recent trends are “Back to the Audience”, “Gigantic Tagline”, and “Sparks and Debris”.  I’ve chosen ten posters from 2013 that took a chance, broke the mold, and came away with something eye-catching and original.

Hit the jump for my top 10 posters of 2013, and come back tomorrow for the top 10 trailers of 2013.

New to Blu-ray: THE WOLVERINE, NASHVILLE Criterion Collection, THE HANGOVER Trilogy, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 17 days ago

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Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

Director James Mangold Talks Developing THE WOLVERINE for Fox, Depicting Japan in the Film, and the Status of THE WOLVERINE 2

by     Posted 1 year, 33 days ago

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There weren’t really any expectations for The Wolverine.  Following the less-said-the-better one-two punch of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins Wolverine, the series and its franchise star James ‘Logan’ Howlett (aka Wolverine) seemed more than a little overripe.  There just didn’t seem much left to mine from The Wolverine.  The character, the obvious standout of X-Men and X2, now felt repetitive and dull.  Just the same note of false bravado masking seething rage repeated ad infinitum.  Which is why The Wolverine was such an unexpected surprise.  Less a comic book than a drama that just so happens to star a guy with claws, The Wolverine unearthed hidden depths of its titular character.  In the hands of filmmaker James Mangold, the archly hyper-masculine Wolverine became a tragic figure of ineffectual heroism.  What happens when the hero can’t save the day?  Who does he then become?  How does he then define himself?

Last night, Fox hosted a screening of The Wolverine in anticipation of the film’s release on Blu-ray & DVD today.  After the screening, James Mangold spoke one-on-one with Collider about pitching such a relatively small scale and idiosyncratic tent-pole blockbuster to Fox, the representation of Japan within the film and how The Wolverine deconstructs the superhero genre. In addition Mangold gave a status update on the development and writing of the recently announced sequel The Wolverine 2. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Hugh Jackman Talks THE WOLVERINE Sequel; Says “There Are Some Really Cool Ideas”

by     Posted 1 year, 38 days ago

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With this summer’s The Wolverine, we finally got a standalone film for one of the most popular X-Men characters that actually did the titular mutant justice.  Director James Mangold and Hugh Jackman crafted a Western throwback that honored the spirit of the character while bringing a more intimate approach to the superhero genre—for once our hero wasn’t working to save an entire city (or the world) from destruction.  Audiences responded positively to the tune of $414 million worldwide, and Fox appeared to be happy with the film as well, as we learned last week that the studio is in negotiations with Mangold and Jackman to return for another Wolverine film.

While very few details were revealed in last week’s report, Jackman has now spoken up a bit with regards to a potential The Wolverine follow-up, noting that he’s been talking with Mangold about ideas but he won’t be moving forward until they stumble on something great.  Read on after the jump.

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