Written by Matt Goldberg
Sources have informed us that Fox is conducting extensive re-shoots for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", some or all of those re-shoots in Vancouver. And by "extensive" we're not talking about a few days of pick-ups. More curious was the studio considered bringing in a few journalists to cover these re-shoots. Now usually re-shoots such as this are done quietly. Studios don't want you to know they done fucked up and can't get their shit together in the editing room.
As for the production, everyone (and by "everyone", I mean the world of online film journalists) knows that Gavin Hood was not getting to make the movie he wanted while on set. There have been reports of Fox basically going around Hood and micro-managing like they always do. Example: some sets were re-painted because it's what the execs wanted, not what Hood wanted.
There have also been many leaked reports that Richard Donner was on the set in some capacity while they were filming. Some in the online world have speculated that Mr. Donner was doing more than just standing around, casting long, adoring gazes at Taylor Kitsch (although he can hardly be faulted if that was the case). We can neither confirm nor substantiate these claims about Donner since we weren't there and we don't know. But with Gavin Hood helming the re-shoots, Fox and Hood must have come to an understanding and are clearly trying to salvage one of the summer tent-poles of 2009. Let's hope that Fox is spending all this money to finally give fans the movie that they've been clamoring for.
This all leads to the big question: What the hell kind of "Wolverine" movie are they making? Is it FUCKING EPIC like the trailer? Is it a softer, perhaps sillier comic book movie like "Fantastic 4"? Or is it true to the bad-ass character of the comics that fans have loved ever since he was introduced back in 1974? Fans want a dark, gritty "Wolverine" movie because that's what the character is. Those adamantium claws aren't for back scratches, they're for back impalements. If "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is closer to the "PG" side of the tracks than the hard-"PG-13" side where fans want it, then the movie will open huge but when those other big summer releases come along, it will disappear like all off Fox's movies last year.
After 2008 and with this current "Watchmen" fiasco, Fox is in trouble. Here's a list of all the major releases from 20th Century Fox last year:
Meet the Spartans
What Happens in Vegas
The X-File: I Want to Believe
City of Ember
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Marley & Me
Other than "Marley & Me", this is the gang that couldn't shoot straight. The quality of these films ranges from mediocre to holocaust. It is one of the worst slates in recent memory and Fox needs to do something and they need to do it with "Wolverine".
"Wolverine" is important for multiple reasons: first, if "Wolverine" doesn't go over well, then not only do sequels for that character go away, but other potential spin-offs, such as Deadpool and Gambit and other mutants, also vanish. Second, if Fox screws over a character as popular as "Wolverine", then compounded with the ill-will garnered by their behavior with "Watchmen", the geek community will have their biggest punching bag since George Lucas. Every film that tries to appeal to the coveted 18-34 male demographic will be an uphill battle in terms of marketing and getting that demo excited.
So with these re-shoots, as with any re-shoots, Fox is trying to "fix" the problem. Granted, the problem seems to be their own doing, but at least they're trying to hit the undo-button. Hence, that's why journalists might be invited to the set during the re-shoots—to show everyone how Fox is trying to make good on this movie. Fox is going to spend millions more to make the movie they were supposed to make in the first place.
Sounds great, right? Fox may have finally pulled its head out of its ass. I know I'm giving 20th Century Fox a lot of shit but look at that list of films again. A good handful of those films aren't just bad or forgettable. They're abominations in the eyes of the Lord.
We contacted Fox before running this story to get their comments. Their response is that these shoots were always planned and are intended to capture specific weather conditions. Personally, I think it's better if they're trying to turn a corner in the way they're planning to make movies, but "weather conditions" is their official reasoning for these shoots in Vancouver.
So if Fox is turning a corner, then more power to them. I want to see a great "Wolverine" movie as much as you do. But trust isn't earned overnight and we'll keep following leads and talking to sources to see if Fox can redeem itself with this highly-anticipated movie.