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Sci-Fi Film and Television Developments


The Wolverine (aka Wolverine 2)


7/18/12 - Jessica Biel was in talks with 20th Century Fox to play the sexy villain in The Wolverine, but Biel passed, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Fox now turns its attention to finding another actress to portray the friend-turned-foe.


7/13/12 - Jessica Biel is in negotiations to play Viper in 20th Century Fox's The Wolverine, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Biel will play the friend-turned-foe of the titular Marvel mutant, played by Hugh Jackman. By day, she is known as Victoria, the secretary for the corrupt minister of justice. By night, she becomes Viper, working for a man who hopes to control a ninja society called the Hand. She is also the lover of the Silver Samurai.  Biel joins a cast that already includes at Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Rila Fukushima and Tao Okamoto.  James Mangold is directing the film, which begins shooting next month in Sydney. Fox will release the pic July 26, 2013.


04/19/12 - The Wolverine is set for an August shoot in Hugh Jackman’s hometown of Sydney, New South Wales, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  While the film is set in Japan, Fox Studios Australia will host the production, with funding assistance from the Aussie government.  James Mangold is on board to direct the pic, with the X-Men Origins: Wolverine production team of Lauren Shuler Donner, Jackman and John Palermo back on board.  The Wolverine is slated for release in July 2013.


2/7/12 - Fox has set a July 23, 2013 release date for The Wolverine, the sequel to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, according to the Hollywood Reporter.  Hugh Jackman is back as the title character, the Canadian mutant with healing powers and an unbreakable retractable claws. James Mangold is on board to direct the pic, whose story is set in Japan.


6/16/11 – Variety reported that Twentieth Century Fox has finally found director James Mangold for Wolverine 2.  Mangold emerged from a list of choices that included Gavin O'Connor, Antoine Fuqua and Doug Liman.  Studio had been on the hunt for a director since Darren Aronofsky dropped out of the film in March.  Christopher McQuarrie wrote the script, which takes place mostly in Japan.


3/17/11 - Darren Aronofsky is bowing out of directing 20th Century Fox's sequel The Wolverine, saying the project would keep him out of the country for too long, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Fox and Hugh Jackman said they remain fully committed to making Wolverine and will move aggressively to find a new director.  "As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year," Aronofsky said.  "I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won't be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again," he continued.


11/15/10 – reported that Darren Aronofsky’s Wolverine sequel isn't a sequel and won't be called Wolverine 2 either.  Aronofsky revealed the title of the second movie in the Wolverine franchise as being officially The Wolverine, with no number attached to the movie at all.  Not only that, but Aronofsky also called the movie more of a "one-off," and the director emphasized the fact that The Wolverine wasn't a sequel in the conventional sense of the word.  Since the movie will deal with Logan's history and time in Japan—where he goes to train with a samurai warrior and falls in love with Mariko Yashida—it may be easier for Aronofsky to set The Wolverine in its own little private bubble.


10/20/10 – reported that Hugh Jackman was bulking up to play Logan again by eating "six meals a day," Jackman predicted that Wolverine 2 is "hopefully for me, going to be out of the box. It's going to be the best one, I hope. Well, I would say that, but I really do feel that, and I feel this is going to be very different."  Darren Aronofsky all but confirmed to direct this sixth X-Men-related feature. "This is Wolverine. This is not Popeye. He's kind of dark," Jackman said. "But, you know, this is a change of pace ... [Aronofsky's] going to make it fantastic. There's going to be some meat on the bones. There will be something to think about as you leave the theater, for sure."  The script is by Christopher McQuarrie and is said to be based on Wolverine's famed early adventures in Japan from the comic books.  Filming begins early next year on the project, possibly in March, with a 2012 release likely.


10/7/10 - Darren Aronofsky is being eyed as director for 20th Century Fox's Wolverine sequel, New York magazine's Vulture blog reported.  Fox has entered into negotiations with Aronofsky to helm the sequel to last year's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The studio has considered him its top choice for a while as has its star Hugh Jackman.


9/14/09 – SCI FI Wire reported that Gavin Hood, director of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, said that a proposed sequel film is still a ways off, despite teasers at the end of the first movie that it would take place in Japan and that a version of Deadpool might appear.  "I'm hoping to be shooting something next year, and I don't think that Wolverine will be ready for next year," Hood said. "I haven't been approached one way or another. The studio is obviously very cautious. They want to see how Wolverine does on DVD. Let them develop the script, let's see what the script looks like, let's see how the studio feels about the script, how Hugh feels about it, and then we'll take it from there."  Hood added: "I don't even know if I would be involved. Right now, I'm not attached. Nobody's attached. They're developing a script, and we'll see where everybody is."  Producer Lauren Shuler Donner, meanwhile, offered a few hints about what might be in store for the character in subsequent installments.  "I think it's our responsibility to remain true to the source material," Donner said. "There are other influences and other factors that make us deviate from it, the first of which being transcribing it to the screen. But we certainly are fully aware of the fan base and try in every way possible to stay close to the source material. I think in Wolverine it was a little bit different because there was a lot of different source material, a lot of different legends in Victor Creed's relationship to Logan, and Logan's background. There were some choices we had to make. Certainly in Wolverine 2, in the Japanese saga, we will stay very close to the source material. I think it's just best that way."


8/14/09 - Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote a draft of the original X-Men movie, has signed on to write the script for Fox's sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, according to The Hollywood ReporterHugh Jackman is set to return as the Marvel Comics character, a mutant with healing powers and a skeleton laced with the indestructible metal known as adamantium. Jackman is also producing via his Fox-based Seed shingle along with Lauren Shuler Donner.  The movie's story line will take its cue from the early 1980s Chris Claremont/Frank Miller miniseries, which is set in Japan and features Wolverine dealing with ninjas as he struggles whether to follow his animal killer instincts or the life under a samurai's code of honor and respect.  The story line was hinted at in one of the movie's codas after the credits.


8/11/09 - Hugh Jackman has told MTV that the next Wolverine movie will follow the fan favorite story arcs from the comic books that took the adamantium-clawed mutant to Japan.  Jackman has said that this is the Wolverine story he's "longed to make from the beginning." As written in the comic books by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, Logan travels to Japan and refines his mastery of martial arts. While there, he has epic confrontations with bands of ninjas... among other, sometimes tragic, adventures.  "We're in... the first steps of developing that story," Jackman said.


5/5/09 - Hugh Jackman and his Seed Productions partner John Palermo have begun planning the sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which topped the domestic box office over the weekend, Variety reported. They are squarely focusing on the samurai storyline originated in the comic series, whose Japanese locale was teased after the film's final credits. A writer has yet to be hired.  -  Living Among You Since 2004