Lauren Shuler Donner is a producer on all things X-Men related, past and future. While at a junket for the X-Men Origins: Wolverine Blu-ray, Empire Magazine was able to talk to Donner and dig up a treasure chest of updates on all of the big projects that are currently piled up on the stove top, including X-Men Origins: Magneto, Deadpool, X-Men: First Class, and of course, the Wolverine sequel that’s being developed.
The first chunk of information comes from Wolverine. Donner explains that this is the furthest along in its production, and that it will likely be the next film released from that world. The sequel will see Wolverine heading to Japan for his Samurai storyline, and she explains that to be as faithful as possible, filming will actually be done in Japan, and they’re even planning on working with Fox’s division in Japan so they don’t do or say anything ignorant to the culture, which is obviously a very smart move.
Click over for much, much more, as well as quotes on all of the projects.
It’s actually the story we wanted to use for the first Wolverine film, but [Fox head honcho] Tom Rothman preferred to set the character up with an origin story first. This movie will really focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. We’re very fortunate to have a story mostly outlined for us [from the comic book arc co-written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller]. And we wanted an A+ writer, so we want to Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie, The Usual Suspects). He came in and has tightened the story and got really immersed in the whole thing – he’s in Japan in his head!
My personal favorite bit from this chat is the details revealed on the Deadpool movie. It appears that some VERY smart decisions that we’ve all been worried about are being made — most notably: they want to ignore the Deadpool that was saw in Wolverine (gold star!). Donner also talked about the challenge of star Ryan Reynolds playing the Marvel character while simultaneously playing DC Comics’ Green Lantern character, and who might be the villains in the movie. Hint: names like Black Tom, Slayback, Blind Al, and the Weasel are being tossed around.
I want to ignore the version of Deadpool that we saw in Wolverine and just start over again. Reboot it. Because this guy talks, obviously, and to muzzle him would be insane.
I don’t see it as a problem that Ryan [Reynolds] is also playing Green Lantern. I mean, look at Harrison Ford – he was in Stars Wars and Indiana Jones at the same time and everyone was fine with that. Green Lantern could not be more different to Wade Wilson. Green Lantern is a guy who finds a ring and is thrust into this world, much like Spider-Man. Wade Wilson is a guy who unfortunately gets cancer, and volunteers for a test that will give him healing powers. He is a bad ass, a wise-cracking mercenary, who will go out and kill anyone for money. But the thing about him is that, underneath it all, and he wouldn’t want you to know this, sometimes he’s not such a bad ass after all. Sometimes he does the right thing
To wrap it all up, Donner talked about the X-Men: First Class and X-Men Origins: Magneto films that have been talked about for a while now.
For First Class, she basically explained that they want it to be similar to the darker Harry Potter movies that we’ve seen and that those comics are the funniest she’s read. This could mean some fairly annual X-Men movies with younger versions of our favorite mutants, but I’m sure they will have to see one movie succeed first. Keep in mind, there’s a lot more on each of these topics — especially this one — so head over to Empire to read all of the quotes!
And on a sad note, it looks like fans of the metal-head Magneto might not get the movie of his life after all. When asked about the progress of X-Men Origins: Magneto, Donner had this to say:
David Goyer has written a brilliant script. It starts in the concentration camps and has Magneto coming out of there. But you know, I’m not sure that film is going to be made. The studio has a wealth of potential stories, and they have to stand back and decide which ones to make. And Magneto, I think, is at the back of the queue. Maybe it’ll get made in five years – who knows? I can tell you that Ian McKellen won’t be playing the character the whole way through. We used Lola technology in X-Men 3 to de-age Ian and Patrick for one scene, but it’s very expensive. To do that for a two-hour movie would be prohibitive financially. And to find a younger actor to fill Ian’s shoes, that’s pretty daunting. It’s not easy.
It is unfortunate that the Magneto film could be dead, but the reasoning does make sense. The age-reducing technique they used didn’t even look good, but casting someone else in the younger roles is a valid option. Again, the obvious excitement here is how they seem to be approaching Deadpool — let’s hope that keeps going in that direction.
What do you guys think; excited about these developments, or is it all still too early to tell, especially with Fox in the throne?