The final trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine landed today, and maybe I’m still recovering from yesterday’s Public Enemies trailer because…this just didn’t do it for me. I mean, yes, lots of things blow up, and Hugh Jackman does have luscious muscles, but now I’m worried.
Tag: X-Men (61-70 of 79)
Is it wrong that, upon seeing the trailer for this X-Men prequel exploring Logan’s origins, the first thing I thought was, "Is that facial hair real, or is it makeup?" The second thing was, "How come Wolverine spends so much time crouching, with his arms extended as if he could flap his arms and take off?"
The third thing was, "Stop picking nits, you idiot. Look, there’s all kinds of explosions and fights and adamantium claws digging into the asphalt and baby Ororo Munroe (a.k.a., Storm) and Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth running on all fours and Gambit and Deadpool and, yes, it tickles all of my geek erogenous zones and we are totally there because it’s gotta be better than Punisher: War Zone and we saw that one opening weekend."
(Yes, I talk to myself in the Imperial third person. It amuses us.)
What about you? Are you onboard for the Sexiest Man Alive’s fourth stab at Wolverine? Or have you already had your fill of wacky beards and bulging pecs?
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Tom Cruise: Still kinda glibby?
I’m a huge fan of the X-Men movie franchise — well, at least the first two Bryan Singer-directed flicks — but not so much of The CW’s icky Gossip Girl (I know, blasphemy alert). And that’s why I’m more than a little perturbed by the news that Josh Schwartz (exec producer of GG, as well as The O.C. and Chuck) will be writing (and possibly directing) the fourth installment of the film franchise, X-Men: First Class, with plans to "inject a next-gen sensibility into the superhero series," according to Variety.
My colleague Jeff Jensen informs me that "X-Men: First Class is the name of a best-selling 2007 X-Men mini-series imagining the very early adventures of Professor Xavier’s first group of mutant students: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel, and The Beast." But I just worry Schwartz might be more interested in outfitting these heroes in Prada capes and imagining them (under-aged-ly) sipping martinis at oak-lined hotel bars than in exploring how they’ll navigate the treacherous territory of what it means to be a mutant teenager kicking ass in an unforgiving world. I mean, even those of you obsessed with the comings and goings of such mythical creatures as a Blair Waldorf or a Nate Archibald can’t tell me you’d want to see the fearsome Jean Grey (played by the fabulous Famke Janssen) pushed aside in favor of, say, Platform, a character who sports a variety of precariously crafted shoes ("Ohmigod, I’m gonna betchslap you, J.G.!"), or (Lord help us) Smoking Jacket, a dude who shoots fire from beneath his array of vintage velvet sports coats.
Then again, perhaps my passage from the advertiser-coveted 18-34 demographic renders completely irrelevant my take on the marriage of Schwartz and X-Men. I just hope Fox doesn’t forget the franchise has already raked in $1.2 billion worldwide, despite starring a couple of oldie olsens in Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. What’s your take, PopWatchers?
More on ‘X-Men,’ ‘Gossip Girl,’ Josh Schwartz, and comic-book adaptations:
EW’s ‘X-Men’ Headquarters
‘Gossip Girl’: Four Rumors — and the Reality (an EW cover story!)
Gillian Flynn’s EW review of Josh Schwartz’s ‘Chuck’
‘Gossip Girl’: Season 1′s Best and Worst
Comic-Con: Wolverine’s Hugh Jackman steals the show at Fox’s movie panel
Which young actor should be cast as ‘Magneto’?
‘Watchmen’ Posters: Snap Judgments
addCredit(“Janssen: Kerry Hayes; Meester: Eric Liebowitz/The CW”)
They liked Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connolly (from The Day the Earth Stood Still). They loved Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis (from Max Payne). But the Comic-Con fans went absolutely berserk over the surprise appearance by Hugh Jackman, here to promote next year’s Wolverine.
Jackman’s theater background certainly came in handy as the Aussie actor with the fabulous biceps commanded the 6,000-seat Hall H. (He even jumped off the stage to personally shake the hand of Len Wein, the comic-book creator of his adamantium-clawed character). The cobbled-together footage from Wolverine is nothing like what we’ll see when the movie premieres in nine months, said Jackman. But that didn’t blunt audience enthusiasm for clips of Jackman, Leiv Schreiber, and Friday Night Lights hottie Taylor Kitsch, who plays Gambit. Given next summer’s light tentpole line-up and today’s reaction, it looks like Wolverine is poised to be a massive hit.
addCredit(“Wolverine: Michael Muller”)
So X-Men Origins: Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman (and possibly Liev Schreiber as a younger version of Brian Cox’s William Stryker), will hit theaters May 1, 2009. Three questions:
1) When do you allow yourself to get excited?
2) What advice would you like to give director Gavin Hood (Rendition) before shooting begins later this year?, and
3) Are the Heroes: Origins people pissed that Wolvie stole their, um, Origins?
I’m trying my hardest to resist the urge to use the word "neat-o!" (tragic, I know) to express my excitement about the announcement that the co-writer of Batman Begins is working on a script focusing on one of my favorite characters from my favorite sci-fi franchise. Yes, PopWatchers, David Goyer (who’s also responsible for directing The Invisible) will write and direct Magneto,
a neat-o an X-Men spinoff that looks at the character’s villainous origins — or more specifically, about how his quest to avenge the Nazis who put his parents in Auschwitz turned him into a seriously disreputable dood.
Now, as fantastic an actor as Ian McKellen is, I’m guessing he’s probably not the right man to portray the twentysomething version of his popular character. If I were casting the film, I’d go with Battlestar Galactica‘s Tahmoh Penikett (pictured), a PopWatch favorite who’s got the good looks and charisma of a big-screen leading man, and more importantly, can actually act. (And for those of you who’d disqualify him for being too old, let’s keep in mind that in most Hollywood circles, 31 isn’t past the cutoff point for playing a high-school senior.) Are you on board with Penikett, or is there another young actor you’d cast as Magneto? Send your memo to the film’s casting folks in the comments section below.
addCredit(“Tahmoh Penikett: Justin Stephens”)
Good news to start your day — Jean Grey is coming to NBC! Oh, no, I didn’t mean to imply that the folks at the Peacock plan to air a Dark Phoenix saga on Monday nights at 10, right after Heroes (even though they totally should), but rather that Famke Janssen, who’s best known for playing X-Men‘s split-persona heroine, will be headlining the network’s police drama pilot from producer David Shore (House).
To me, that’s welcome news; Janssen’s the kind of actress who’d probably be a lot bigger star if movie studios would realize she’s infinitely more appealing than, say, Mandy Moore. But since that’s never going to happen — at 41, Janssen’s more likely to be cast as Moore’s mom nowadays — why not cross over to television, where (ideally) she’ll get 22 complex, interesting scripts every year? (After all, this is the actress who transfixed Nip/Tuck fans during her oh-so-memorable season 2 guest stint as a post-op transsexual.)
Anyway, this got me thinking about other big-screen stars who might benefit from a move to TV. If I ran a network, I’d build a primetime soap around the underutilized talents of Faye Dunaway and Andy Garcia. The former could be cast as the paranoid, ruthless head of Hollywood’s biggest PR firm, spending each week trying to put a positive spin on her famous clients’ public and private disasters; Garcia could play her ambitious, starlet-chasing No. 2 — stuck in a marriage of convenience with Dunaway while plotting to oust her from her job. Now tell me that doesn’t sound more interesting than CSI: Atlanta.
Come on, PopWatchers — let’s show the networks how it should be done. Pick two movie stars who are ready for a switch to the small screen, and tell us how you’d cast ‘em.
addCredit(“Dunaway: Jesse Grant/WireImage.com; Garcia: David Livingston/Getty Images”)
What do you get when you send the philosophical kids of Charles Schulz’s classic Peanuts cartoon into the Marvel comics universe? Peppermint Patty Phoenix? Spider-Man Snoopy? Daredevil Charlie Brown? Click here (scroll down) to see the amusing results for yourself.
With Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine movie in the works and the rest of the grown-ups priced out of range, a proper X4 will probably never happen. But there are other possibilities: Which would you like to see?
1. A "Young Magneto" movie has been proposed. According to script spies, the scene where Mr. Miyagi exhorts him to "make these paper clips your bitch" is particularly moving.
2. There’s the oft-discussed Saved by the Genetic Anomaly: The New Class approach, which shifts the focus to Prof. X’s younger students: Bobby "Iceman" Drake, Kitty "Shadowcat" Pryde, Piotr "Colossus" Rasputin, and David "Mildly ADD" Micklethwait.
3. The bold approach: three hours of watching Prof. X try to pry his consciousness out of that coma victim’s body, culminating in a triumphant finger twitch. It will be the My Dinner with Andre of comic-book movies, and I will make it myself, using nothing but a vintage camcorder, audio snipped from old Next Generation episodes, and a very lazy friend.
Or perhaps you’d like to see something else? Make your last stand below.
addCredit(“Wolverine: Nels Israelson”)
So it looks like everyone in the known universe elected to take the mutant cure this weekend. By now you must realize: Side effects include several burning questions. Most are too spoiler-y to be mentioned here. So allow me to play The Provocateur (my lame mutant alter ego) and kick off two larger thematic debates:
1. What was the thinking (maybe that’s too strong a word) behind sampling this web short in a feature film? Yes, I know crowd-sourcing is all the rage in today’s imagination-leeched Hollywood. I know Lost is now as much an online fan conversation as a TV show, and I realize that half of Snakes on a Plane was written by freelance net ironists.
Honestly, though: As the trustee of a beloved franchise, do you reference a popular Web parody of said franchise just for the sake of referencing it? Do people applaud for the sheer familiarity? (Often, the answer is a big scary yes). Is it funny or off-key, like Batman suddenly breaking into a chorus of "Robin Laid an Egg"? Does it sell beloved characters down the river for a cheap laugh? Larger question: Is it disturbing or refreshingly democratic to have mega-budgeted Hollywood, er, juggernauts relying on no-budget Web trifles for inspiration?
2) The issue of "the cure": What divisive social issue does it allegorize for you? Of course, there’s the well-worn "queer theory" approach to X-Men, but reviews of The Last Stand have added abortion and even cochlear implants to the political/polemical mix. (Oh, and in case you’ve been missing the whole Malcolm X/Martin Luther King dynamic between Magneto and Prof. Charles Xavier, Mystique keeps it fresh by refusing to be called by her "slave name.") So… when Rogue (Anna Paquin, pictured) agonizes over whether to take the "cure," what do you see? A young woman trying to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy? Or an innocently parasitic mutant who’d like to be able to kiss her boyfriend without draining his life force?
3) I know I said two, but… dude, still no Gambit?
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