In a recent interview with Collider, X-Men and Wolverine producer Simon Kinberg revealed a few interesting titbits about the latest Wolverine movie, chiefly among them that:
1) Filming has already begun,
2) The final product will be R-rated, with a ‘Western’ kind of tone, and
3) It will be a ‘radical, bold, different Wolverine’ that we’ll be getting in the early days of March 2017 when the movie hits theaters.
Of course, not long ago the Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, also publicly stated that after this installment he will be hanging up his claws for good. According to comicbook.com:
It is my last time. It just felt like it was the right time to do it. And let’s be honest, 17 years. I never thought in a million years it would last, so I’m so grateful to the fans for the opportunity of playing it.
Which, yeah, fair enough, Huge Jackedman. You have more than served your time. As a matter of fact you have been, in a way, our spiritual companion through these two decades. Your tenure as Wolverine traveled hand in hand with the ascendancy of the comic book movie.
Hell, your physique by itself is basically a metaphor for the industry.
Comic book movie clout in 2000:
Comic book movie clout in 2016:
So, if Jackman’s swansong is to be an R-rated, Western-style outing, how on earth do you move the series forward after that?
Glad you asked.
I have the answers.
Any or all of these will do.
1) Cast Chiwetel Ejiofor
Did you see him as The Operative in Serenity? Dude can be straight-up terrifying. Those moments near the end where his otherwise unflappable cool cracks? Tap into that for that famous Wolverine ferocity.
Also, the movie is set in space. So, Chiwetel Ejiofor is Space Wolverine. You’re welcome, Hollywood.
2) Set the movie in the far future.
Okay, not, like, thousands of years, but maybe a hundred or so. All of Logan’s friends and enemies that we once knew are dead. But then, this isn’t the first time he’s had to experience this. He’s survived everyone before. Who’s to say how the specific generation we were familiar with were special in any way?
Except maybe they were, and Logan has to really, really wrestle with that. In between, you know, dicing up future bad guys.
3) Make it a period piece
Logan was born James Howlett in the late 19th century Canada. Do something with that. Look here, according to his Wiki biography:
[Wolverine] grows into manhood on a mining colony in the Yukon, adopting the name “Logan.” Logan accidentally kills [his childhood companion] Rose with his claws, causing him to leave the colony and live in the wilderness among wolves until he is captured and placed in a circus. Saul Creed, brother of Victor Creed, frees Logan, but after he betrays Logan and Clara Creed to Nathaniel Essex, Logan drowns Creed in Essex’s potion. Logan returns to civilization, residing with the Blackfoot people. Following the death of his Blackfoot lover, Silver Fox, at the hands of Victor Creed, now known as Sabretooth, he is ushered into the Canadian military during World War I. Logan spends time in Madripoor before settling in Japan, where he marries Itsu and has a son, Daken, of whom Logan for many years is unaware.
I know we’re sick of origin stories, but here we have a young Logan struggling with his powers for the first time; the first appearance of Sabretooth in Wolverine’s life; the first appearance of Nathaniel Essex (Mr. Sinister); and Canadian military service in WW1. I’d swallow the origin pill to watch a well-made version of that.
Get on it.
4) THIS THING!
In the same Wiki bio as above, this sentence is used: ‘During World War II, Logan teams up with Captain America.’
Fucking make that movie.
A proper, old school WWII espionage thriller. Captain America and Wolverine, deep behind enemy lines in occupied Europe. They’ll be doin’ one thing, and one thing only:
5) Get an interesting director interested.
No disrespect to James Mangold, director of the previous Wolverine movie and returning for this one, but someone with a really unique vision and eye could invigorate whatever Wolverine story ends up being told next. Go the Marvel route: pluck some talent.
6) Film it all in first person, Hardcore Henry style
Self-explanatory, I think.
7) Cast Axl Rose
Apparently he did a great job with AC/DC. And hey, if he’s good enough for AC/DC.