Gavin Hood Talks Wolverine; Possible Sequel

With X-Men Origins: Wolverine on DVD, we caught up with the director for a chat.



South African Gavin Hood directed the Oscar-winning Tsotsi but has also knocked about Hollywood, acted in over a dozen movies and, following his political thriller Rendition, got the nod to helm the blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine . Though the film drew mixed reviews, its box office has been enough to set in motion plans for a sequel. Recently we caught up with Hood to ask him about it, and share his thoughts on working with Hugh Jackman, comic book movies, and his admiration for fellow countryman Neill Blomkamp.


Will you be directing Wolverine 2?

I have no idea. All that's happened at the moment is that the studio has just commissioned the script for Wolverine 2 to be written. Whether that film will ever get made will depend on so many factors -- whether the studio likes the script, whether they find a director who responds to the script. Might that be me? Sure, I'd be extremely interested and thrilled if they were to send it to me.

How did you try to bring an extra dimension to a comic book movie?

In the original script they were not half brothers. There was some resistance to that, because in the world of the comics there's only a small suggestion in one particular comic that Victor Creed and Wolverine may well be half brothers. I just gravitated to that. Just having one good guy versus bad guy, with no emotional connection just felt like "Whoa -- you'll have nothing but punching and kicking". That was a way to build up the emotional power of the film. I thought Liev Schreiber did a phenomenal job. I'm very pleased that on the Blu-ray disc there's a particular scene that I was attached to that didn't make it into the movie. I say that without saying "It should have!" I think it probably should have been in the movie, but I understood the argument against it, and at the time there was much to-ing and fro-ing about it. It's a great thing to be able to put that sort of scene on the Blu-ray and let people think of other themes and idea that were in my mind when we made that scene.

How hard is it to get Hugh Jackman naked?

Well one of things we knew going into the film was that Hugh Jackman was going to have to do a certain amount of nudity in the film. Hugh will tell you how he wanted to be like De Niro in Cape Fear. I was like "Mate, you're going to be naked -- you better buff up". [laughs] Honestly though, I've never seen someone eat so much chicken steak and fish and lettuce for so long without throwing up. It was unbelievable. Seven meals a day of protein and a little bit of salad. No CGI on that body. Except for the claws.



You're from South Africa; so is Neill Blomkamp. Is this some kind of mini South African sci-fi renaissance? Have you spoken to Neill about District 9 ?

We have spoken because I had to tell him what a phenomenal job he did. I sat there in the cinema -- and probably it was a great deal of patriotic pride -- but I thought, here was something so fresh and so out there, yet so emotionally powerful. It was just so fantastic to see the originality of the piece.

From a South African perspective, did you find it true to its core?

Yeah. Scarily so. I know those characters. Those [adopts a funny Afrikaans accent] very well meaning policemen, who think they are being very nice to you who, but are completely on the side of authority and they're patronising you to death. Yeah. We grew up around those guys. Scary.

Which films inspire you?

David Lean, Lawrence of Arabia. I don't know why I say that, but epic, character-driven. I don't know that it's necessarily about genre -- I think in every genre there are films that do what they do really well. When you're looking at film, I don't think one should necessarily compare a drama with a sci-fi, except to the extent that there should be a good drama within the sci-fi, presumably. Within every genre there's a high point of that genre. I just find that fascinating -- that's why I loved District 9 , because it brought such a fresh perspective to that genre.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.

Comments

Brendan D.

Brendan Daly

Wolverine sucked. And worse, a ten year old could have made it better. However, I don't think it was this Gavin Hood fella's fault. Whats with the silly over inflated story!?! It was call Origins WOLVERINE not Wolverine and a bunch of other schmos. Really. Why wasn't it just the established, well loved story we all know and were dying to see? BLEW IT! like Spider man 3-blew it.

Oct 14 - 11:09 PM

Don't Tase Me Bro

Don't Tase Me Bro

I'll take a Wolverine sequel any day over another Fantastic 4 sequel.

Oct 15 - 12:34 AM

djcloudy

legend reloaded

why dont they swap? Let Neill Blomkamp direct Wolverine 2... n yeah i would love to see the story get out of origins and go into japan.

Oct 15 - 12:46 AM

SolidChamp

Thomas Bellmore

I'd like to hear his thoughts on why Wolverine sucked...this interview is lame. I always want a director to own up to making a mediocre mess, like Raimi did with Spider-man 3, and explain what they felt went wrong. At least acknowledge that you cheated us out of a good Wolverine flick.

Oct 15 - 01:10 AM

screwhead100

Ben Wellick

i agree with that feller >>> SolidChamp

Oct 15 - 04:54 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

the bluddy word isn't "possible;"

THE BLUDDY WORD'S The "INEVITABLE" sequel or prequel or whatever
silly

Oct 15 - 06:21 AM

Looselycult

Dean Peteet

Although I do agree "Origins" was a mess it was still better than that hack Ratner's abomination X3. The best way to redeem "Origins" is to go to Japan and adapt Claremont and Miller's limited series. If this is done with honor and respect for the source material all will be forgiven.

Oct 15 - 06:31 AM

Kami no Shi

mark fields

Ratner had no choice ,they threw a script at him and told him to direct it ,

He didn`t even come close to the freedom singer had .

Oct 15 - 08:50 AM

Goatmeal

Goatmeal Go

He didn't. X3 was virtually all Tom Rothman. Ratner's been receiving too much unwarranted hate for the film when most of it should be directed at Rothman (like hate for use of sentinals in the films). The film had multiple endings (as seen on the dvd extras) mainly due to fact that Ratner and Fox were constantly clashing on the film's direction (the ending where Rogue tells Bobby that she couldn't take the cure shot was Ratner's original). Ratner even tried to release an uncut extended version of TLS in early 2007 (which was said to have a runtime of over 140minutes) and Fox voided it. Probably because they didn't want people to see how sh*t their version actually was compared to Ratner's.

Trust me, it's easy to point the finger at Ratner or Hood as the ones at fault, but they aren't the enemies here. Fox is.

Oct 15 - 11:16 AM

KJ Cassidy

kurt cassidy

I doubt any of you jerk'offs have even read the wolverine origins comic book, it wen't well with the story and they gave it the classic marvel touch. You guys are stupid as hell to judge a movie like this when theres movies like the marine out there.

Oct 15 - 07:50 AM

Kami no Shi

mark fields

Yes ,I ve read the wolverine origin books ,and the movie given to us ( if you want to call it that .) was plotholed mess and the memoery erasing bullet come on ,what a F@cking joke.

Oct 15 - 08:53 AM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

And who are you to judge The Marine when there are movies like Alone in the Dark out there?

See, we can do this all day.

Oct 15 - 10:29 AM

Kami no Shi

mark fields

Ratner had no choice ,they threw a script at him and told him to direct it ,

He didn`t even come close to the freedom singer had .

Oct 15 - 08:50 AM

Goatmeal

Goatmeal Go

He didn't. X3 was virtually all Tom Rothman. Ratner's been receiving too much unwarranted hate for the film when most of it should be directed at Rothman (like hate for use of sentinals in the films). The film had multiple endings (as seen on the dvd extras) mainly due to fact that Ratner and Fox were constantly clashing on the film's direction (the ending where Rogue tells Bobby that she couldn't take the cure shot was Ratner's original). Ratner even tried to release an uncut extended version of TLS in early 2007 (which was said to have a runtime of over 140minutes) and Fox voided it. Probably because they didn't want people to see how sh*t their version actually was compared to Ratner's.

Trust me, it's easy to point the finger at Ratner or Hood as the ones at fault, but they aren't the enemies here. Fox is.

Oct 15 - 11:16 AM

Kami no Shi

mark fields

Yes ,I ve read the wolverine origin books ,and the movie given to us ( if you want to call it that .) was plotholed mess and the memoery erasing bullet come on ,what a F@cking joke.

Oct 15 - 08:53 AM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

And who are you to judge The Marine when there are movies like Alone in the Dark out there?

See, we can do this all day.

Oct 15 - 10:29 AM

King Thor

Chris Kalmin

Kurt n Ethan u idiot this movie was terrible.

do you even realize how awesome a wolverine movie COULD HAVE BEEN if they just focused on Wolverine and Sabretooth? i'm just picturing blood and grittiness in the snows of canada.

Oct 15 - 10:41 AM

Corwin S.

Corwin Stimpson

I hated this movie when I watched the leaked bootleg. However, once I watched it on Blu Ray it was much better. I'd suggest everyone the same.

Oct 15 - 10:57 AM

Hamboner

Brian Lorenzen

Poor fella... he got railroaded by Fox into shooting a film he had very little control over. He delivers a monster hit for them, and he still isn't even guaranteed the right to direct the second.

They'll probably not let him direct the next Wolverine sequel in order to appease fans who thought this movie sucked. But no matter who directs it, the sequel won't be any better if it is thrown together via committee the way this one was.

I understand studios need tentpoles that make lots of money... but this whole X-men franchise has been soul-crushing for the last 4 years.

Oct 15 - 11:11 AM

lordmanji

First Last

the failure of wolverine is ultimately the director's fault. he's the one that approves the overall look and feel of the movie. his reach spans all departments: script, production design, the film's "look," casting, editing, visual effects.

i thought wolverine played as a very broad, bordering on cartoony movie. the paragon of comic book movies is x-men and part 1 and 2 showed that you can have a comic book movie taken seriously. while wolverine wasn't exactly batman and robin, it fell on the same level as daredevil albeit with a bigger budget.

i wouldve liked to see a condensed thriller in the vein of the bourne identity series. wolverine is never going to be a mainstream character. to make him that way waters him down and the richness of his story. they should exploit the complexities and inherent darkness of his character and through that, by staying true to him do you excite the fanboys who then open up the movie to mass audiences. that, i think, is the overall failure of the movie in that it tried to appeal to everyone without taking advantage of what made wolverine so unique.

Oct 15 - 11:14 AM

Goatmeal

Goatmeal Go

"the failure of wolverine is ultimately the director's fault. he's the one that approves the overall look and feel of the movie. his reach spans all departments: script, production design, the film's "look," casting, editing, visual effects."

You haven't heard of Harvey Weinstein or Thomas Rothman then.

Oct 15 - 11:35 AM

Goatmeal

Goatmeal Go

He didn't. X3 was virtually all Tom Rothman. Ratner's been receiving too much unwarranted hate for the film when most of it should be directed at Rothman (like hate for use of sentinals in the films). The film had multiple endings (as seen on the dvd extras) mainly due to fact that Ratner and Fox were constantly clashing on the film's direction (the ending where Rogue tells Bobby that she couldn't take the cure shot was Ratner's original). Ratner even tried to release an uncut extended version of TLS in early 2007 (which was said to have a runtime of over 140minutes) and Fox voided it. Probably because they didn't want people to see how sh*t their version actually was compared to Ratner's.

Trust me, it's easy to point the finger at Ratner or Hood as the ones at fault, but they aren't the enemies here. Fox is.

Oct 15 - 11:16 AM

King Thor

Chris Kalmin

I agree with Goatmeal, and I've been saying this for a while. FOX needs to burn.

As long as they hold the rights to any comic book characters...there will continue to be ****ty soul less terrible movies.

Oct 15 - 11:22 AM

Goatmeal

Goatmeal Go

"the failure of wolverine is ultimately the director's fault. he's the one that approves the overall look and feel of the movie. his reach spans all departments: script, production design, the film's "look," casting, editing, visual effects."

You haven't heard of Harvey Weinstein or Thomas Rothman then.

Oct 15 - 11:35 AM

Nine Oh Two

joe schmoe

I'm sorry, but if anyone out there really thinks that Wolverine had any redeeming qualities then you need to stop eating paint chips. It was like they were trying to make everything about it terrible just to **** with us. It is easily one of the wost comic adaptations I have ever seen, right up there with Catwoman - and no, it doesn't get a free pass just because it is Wolverine! Everything about it screams amatuer hour, like there where a bunch of Hollywood fatcats sitting in a board room some where placing bets on how ****ty they could make the movie but people would still see it.

Oct 15 - 12:19 PM

Rockslide

Rocky Davies

I'm not saying he has to run around in yellow spandex, but let's stick a little closer to the source material. This was just way out there, and yes I have read the Origins comics. The movie was about 10% true to them with the other 90% just made up and totally ridiculous. This movie could have been the original Origin set and been good just with that, all in the late 1800's.

Oct 15 - 12:32 PM

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