Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How Will James Mangold's Version of 'Wolverine' Differ?


Earlier this year when I was jittery from anticipating the movie X-Men: First Class [2011], I mentioned in passing (in the comments section) how director Darren Aronofsky was attached to the new Wolverine project. I didn't dedicate an entry on that because there was pretty much nothing to go on about. Fast forward to today, and I got disappointed to learn that Aronofsky will no longer have anything to do with this second Wolverine spin-off.

That is, until I saw who's replacing him, and how he's planning to approach the story. The man is James Mangold, a director who ended up being in my radar after the release of Walk the Line [2005], after which I backtracked his works and discovered that I have actually seen quite a few of his movies. There's Cop Land [1997], Kate & Leopold [2001] and Identity [2003], although I find none of them to be memorable (except for 3:10 to Yuma [2007], of course). But the most important thing to take away from this is the fact that the dude is not a one-trick pony.

One-trick pony. *Giggles*... Because he directed a cowboy movie, get it? Never mind.
"So what? Gavin Hood wasn't that bad a director." is something I can hear you say, and I agree with you. Gavin Hood, despite not known to have done anything else, didn't do too bad considering the material given to him. He had style, and made X-Men Origins: Wolverine [2009] what it was intended to be; a paint-by-number origin story that only got made because Wolverine is really that popular.

Which is pretty sad since the character has a lot going for him, and not to mention Hugh Jackman gave his full dedication to the role, as evidenced by his tighter-than-usual physique. Too bad the screenwriting department didn't get to really flex their muscles, if you know what I mean. Not to discredit their work, of course. But I just have this feeling that they were pressured to make a movie that would please as many people as they could. We all know how that ended.

Nobody had any complaints about Hugh Jackman, though. He's just perfect for the role...
Like, seriously...
Although, what I like most about Hugh Jackman is actually his nose...
Good news is, it would appear that they have learned from that past mistake. Here, read what James Mangold himself said about how he's planning to do this movie.
"It’s a kind of adventure following such a unique character also in a really unique environment. I mean, the fact that half of the characters in this movie speak Japanese, this is like a foreign-language superhero movie that’s as much a drama and a detective story and a film noir, with high-octane action as it is anything like a conventional tentpole film…

I think part of the reason I’m doing this picture has been because it isn't, to me, a conventional superhero movie. It isn’t an origin story, so I’m freed from that burden, and it also isn't a save-the-world movie, which most of them are. It’s actually a character piece; I actually think it has more in common with The Outlaw Josey Wales and Chinatown, what we’re doing, than the conventional, 'will Wolverine and his compatriots save the world from this thermonuclear device' question
."
If you couldn't be bothered to read through all that, James Mangold was basically saying that he wouldn't even go near, let alone touch the Superhero Movie Playbook with a ten foot pole. It wouldn't be a movie where Wolverine reluctantly groups up with some other mutants to stop an evil scheme. What peaked my interest was when Mangold made mention of Chinatown [1971], a film noir starring Jack Nicholson. I still haven't had the chance to see that movie from beginning to end, but I really liked whatever part of that movie I saw when it aired on... Cinemax, I think it was.


I don't know how Wolverine would fit in there, but I sure like the way it sounds. For once it's going to be a character-driven story, which really sounds promising when you consider how deep the character Wolverine can be. Well, it is still in production as of now, and there's always that chance they'll switch director another time. But I'm really hopeful that the powers that be won't let that happen, and more importantly, for the concept to remain intact.

I guess we'll find out when it will finally see release in 2013.

2 comments:

Zulfahmi said...

Of all X-Men, I love Wolverine the most...

Az said...

Since that the movie will have a Japanese setting, it has to be about Wolverine's beggining right? Not sure how much can it depart from that.

Oh well, let's just watch it because Hugh Jackman is in it. Phew!

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