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  • Feature: Wolverine

    Thu, 30 Apr 2009 10:38:54

    Feature: Wolverine - Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, and Will.i.am talk about digging their claws into <i>Wolverine</i>

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    Wolverine's not a nice guy. Arguably one of Marvel Comics' most famous characters, Wolverine is the definition of an anti-hero. For Hugh Jackman, that's the character's biggest selling point in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    Jackman explains, "He was the first anti-hero. When Wolverine appeared, there was a revolution. It wasn't simply about good guys versus bad guys, but there was an internal battle of good and bad going on within the character. That's why people identify with him."

    Fans have been waiting for the tale of Wolverine since he first clawed through movie theaters across the world in 2000's mega-successful comic book adaptation, X-Men. The film launched Jackman to superstardom and spawned two equally successful sequels. Jackman's Wolverine is a character shrouded in mystery with a dark past that stirs his internal conflict. When X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits screens, the masses will get closer than ever to Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine.

    Jackman views the film as more of a character exploration than a standard summer romp. "Comic book fans have loved Wolverine and all of the X-Men for more than just the action. I think that's what set it apart from many other comic books. The first priority of this movie is fun. I want people to go and see it on the big screen and be entertained. We also have an opportunity to make them think and feel a little bit, though."

    'I wanted the film to feel different in terms of tone and aesthetic—a little darker, a little rawer, a little more human,' says Jackman.

    Jackman also sees the film as a chance for fans to get closer than ever to the character, diving into his emotional conflicts and primal instincts. He smiles and continues, "In a way, Wolverine is more uncompromising for us to like. He is who he is, and that's what the fans love about him. He's not always nice. He has got an edge. There's also vulnerability in there. There are conflicts inside of him. I had a chance to explore that more. I wanted the film to feel different in terms of tone and aesthetic—a little darker, a little rawer, a little tougher, and, hopefully, a little more human. There are no more black leather suits this time either [laughs]."

    For Ryan Reynolds, his character Dead Pool couldn't have been a more fulfilling role. He says, "I've actually wanted to play Dead Pool for a long time. It was a bit of a dream come true. I always thought he felt like a cross between Commando and Phantom of the Opera by way of Caddyshack [laughs]. There was a lot of sword training and a lot of working out with Hugh who, on my first day, looked like a guy who was going to make a necklace out of my teeth [laughs]."

    Will.i.Am's experience as Wraith was a tad different. "For me, this was the first big [film venture]. Usually I tour around the world with my friends, but here I was alone going across the world to do something that's totally different than what I normally do. The whole memory is wonderful. I remember each day."

    The experience was doubly memorable for Jackman, who also assumed a producer role on the project. "Obviously this movie has a different dimension because I was a producer, too. When I asked everyone what they thought about the movie, I found myself nervous about it [laughs]. In that way, the film feels more personal to me. It's more my baby."

    He concludes, "Everything felt new to me. I'm playing the same character, but I'm filling in 100 years of his life that had never been explored before and had been unknown. It was a chance to reveal that. I also wanted to see Wolverine evolve."

    That evolution is something for audiences to sink their teeth—er, claws—into.

    —Rick Florino

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    Tags: will.i.am, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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