Gavin Hood Suggests A Philosophical, Operatic Wolverine

The 2009 existential X-Men spin-off starts filming next month.

Gavin Hood devoted a few minutes of time at a Rendition press day to answer questions about the upcoming project on everybody's mind: Wolverine. Even the director of Tsotsi could joke about why he took on the big studio comic book project.

"I'll give you two answers really quickly," he began. "One is called a college fund for my twins. That's what you're going to say so why don't we say it? You know, it's not often that a script like Rendition comes across your desk. We think that scripts are just out there and they're not."

Joking aside, to spend a year or more on the project, Hood still had to find a way to care about it artistically. "I'll tell you why I love Wolverine. The truth is, I didn't at first. When Wolverine was offered to me, I went, 'Well, I'm the wrong guy for this.' And then I spoke with Hugh Jackman and the truth is that what's great about the Wolverine character, he's really a character who suffers from a great deal of existential angst."

Like the X-Men films with their underlying message about prejudice, Hood's Wolverine will have more to it than berserker action. "What I do love about the Wolverine character is that there is within that character a great deal of disconnection from who he really is and what it means to be human. So what we're really getting a chance to do is do opera. We're taking human emotion and in the way that you would have Zeus throwing thunder bolts, it's [three claws.]"

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men

The script by David Benioff is expected to delve into Wolverine's origins and involvement with the Weapon-X program and a love interest, with possible appearances by Victor Creed (AKA Sabretooth), William Stryker, The Blob and John Wraith.

Visual effects will be cool too, especially considering that many anticipate Wolverine will have a budget upwards of $100 million. "Well, it's another reason to do it because to work in a visual way, my first film world was still photography and I love the visuals," Hood said. "Yes, to work at a level of heightened visual effects is going to be an amazing experience."

Production on Wolverine is set to begin at the end of November at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, where producer-star Jackman is also shooting Baz Luhrmann's WWII epic, Australia. Twentieth Century Fox has set a 2009 release.


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