Wolverine and the play-it-safe Fox
Ron Seifried | On 23, Mar 2014
According to 20th Century Fox, in the X-Men there is Wolverine and there are some other mutants. All others can please stay out of the way. Since Marvel’s X-Men hit the big screen 14 years ago, Wolverine has been an integral part of the story in almost all of the films, and the only character to get a spinoff franchise.
Now word has come from “The Wolverine” director James Mangold, that we can expect a third standalone film on the metallic-clawed mutant, possibly as soon as 2017. Hugh Jackman has successfully portrayed Wolverine since the beginning, but there is no official confirmation he will return. All Mangold is revealing is “there are great texts about his connections to others, villains, characters from the lore and from the comics that we can bring out and have another great and meaningful adventure.”
Deadline has reported that David James Kelly is on board to write the screenplay. Kelly’s only known previous work is the short “Straw Man,” but Fox has reportedly picked up an original script “Sentinel” and is adapting the Dark Horse comic Mind MGMT for Dark Horse Productions.
But has the comfort level surrounding Wolverine gone too far? The upcoming prequel/sequel mashup “X-Men: Days of Future Past” has Wolverine traveling back in time to save the mutant race, instead of Kitty Pride like in the original comic storyline. This lays out a potential alternate timeline for future X-Men films, so “Wolverine 3” (for a lack of better name), may take place in an entirely different future.
With Wolverine forced into every X-Men movie might make sense for the broader cinematic audience, but it is bordering on travesty of the literal universe. We don’t yet know the direction of this summer’s X-Men flick, but we do know is that the events will lead right into the recently announced “X-Men: Apocalypse” the fourth X-Men film to be directed by Bryan Singer, scheduled for 2016. Word has it that “Apocalypse” will take place in the 1980’s and possibly concluding the “X-Men: First Class” trilogy.
Add in the fact an “X-Force” film has been confirmed with writer Jeff Wadlow stating that his favorite characters are Deadpool, Psylocke, Domino, Cable and….wait for it…Wolverine.
Wolverine’s first standalone film, the is it or is it not cannon “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” was mediocre at best and supposedly put to rest any other “Origin” film, including the rumored Magneto spinoff. The improved reboot/sequel started with promise of Logan in exile after the death of his love Dr. Jean Grey, but ultimately failed in the end. Hugh Jackman clearly understands Wolverine/Logan and has always committed to deliver a strong performance.
But a great actor alone cannot save a subpar script.
Wolverine has been whittled down over the film series from the multi-lingual, temper-tantrum mutant.
Why attempt to redevelop that storyline again? It’s obvious it’s for the cash, but the X-Men universe is full of rich, developed characters.
Either way, it appears two X-Men trilogies will be winding down the next couple of years, with more Fox-owned Marvel characters finally getting some screen time.
Jackman will have to hang up his boots and/or claws, sooner or later, hinting as much with IGN earlier this year. X-Men: Days of Future Past will be released May 23, 2014. X-Men: Apocalypse will be out May 27th, 2016 and Wolverine 3 will arrive March 3, 2017.