Word is X-Men‘s Wolverine is getting some new moves. Freshman mutants in the movie franchise, like Angel and Beast, hog all the buzz these days, but don’t expect the vet to sit on the sidelines filing his claws. In fact, Hugh Jackman, who plays the hotheaded, cigar-smoking superhero, recently told Entertainment Weekly’s Neil Drumming that X-Men 3, directed by Brett Ratner and opening May 26, will roll out a much more refined Wolvie.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s different about Wolverine 3.0?
HUGH JACKMAN: We tried to incorporate a little more of some of the artwork of the comics into Wolverine’s fighting style. I was very adamant at the beginning in 1 and 2 — I used to watch tapes of Mike Tyson — and I was like, I don’t want it to be pretty. I don’t want it to be martial arts. I don’t want him to be anything other than, like, a street fighter. He doesn’t fight for the sake of fighting. If he can take someone’s head off in the first punch, he’ll take it off. Simon [Crane, stunt coordinator for Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Troy, and both Tomb Raiders] kind of convinced me and we worked on some styles of incorporating some of the artwork in the comics, which is a little stylized, more to use what his strength is — which is [that he's] small. Me, I’m actually a tall man, so that took a little training and I worked hard on that.
So here’s the big question: Will fans of the comic book be satisfied — especially since Brett Ratner is new to the franchise?
Oh, yeah. There’s a lot of things we really tried to get in 1 and 2 which — I don’t mean to be blunt — were just real expensive and we couldn’t get them in until 1 and 2 were so successful. So there’s some sequences there that the fans — if you go to that midnight screening on the first night, they’ll just be going ballistic. There’s some specific choreography, famous fighting moves, that we use in this movie that we haven’t been able to do before.
The fans have been the foundation of the success of this movie and they’re never forgotten. Trust me. No decision is made without considering the history of each character. You don’t want to come in and just rewrite the history books. And let’s face it: If I do a disservice to Wolverine, I can easily be spat on in the street.
What’s up with a possible Wolverine spin-off?
I’m into it. We’re actually working on a script. X-Men is an ensemble movie, even if some characters are in it more than others. It’s about the X-Men. I love playing the part. I think it’s the best part going around. I may be biased, but I think there’s so much still to be mined, still to be learned from that [character]. I think it will stand up to a feature-length movie. And we’ve had some really amazing interests from some great filmmakers and great writers also really intrigued by the character.
Would you consider writing it yourself?
I will always put my input in from the actor’s point of view. At this point I feel like I know the character, from some perspective, incredibly well, so I will always have a lot to say. But no.