X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Director: Gavid Hood
Writer: David Benioff, Skip Woods

Cast: Hugh Jackman (Logan / Wolverine), Live Schreiber (Victor Creed), Danny Huston (Stryker), Will i Am (John Wraith), Lynn Collins (Kayla Silverfox), Kevin Durand (Fred Dukes), Dominic Monaghan (Chris Bradley / Bolt), Taylor Kitsch (Remy LeBeau), Daniel Henney (Agent Zero), Ryan Reynolds (Wade Wilson)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Released: May 1, 2009 (USA)
Running time: 107 minutes
MPAA: PG-13 — intense sequences of action and violence, some partial nudity

Two mutant brothers, Logan and Victor, born 200 years ago, suffer childhood trauma and have only each other to depend on. Basically, they’re fighters and killers, living from war to war through U.S. history. In modern times, a U.S. colonel, Stryker, recruits them and other mutants as commandos. Logan quits and becomes a logger, falling in love with a local teacher. When Logan refuses to rejoin Stryker’s crew, the colonel sends the murderous Victor. Logan now wants revenge.

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» Trivia

• This is the first film to be produced by Hugh Jackman and John Palermo’s new production company, Seed Productions.

• David Benioff aimed for a darker and more brutal story, and wrote the script with an R rating in mind. Producer Hugh Jackman did not see the need for an R rating, however, and the script was toned down to a safer PG-13 level.

• Bryan Singer (who directed the first two X-Films), Brett Ratner (who directed the 3rd and previous X-Film), Len Wiseman, Alexandre Aja, and Zack Snyder all expressed interest in directing the film before Gavin Hood was hired.

• This is the first time the mutant Gambit appears in an X-Film. He was planned to make appearances in the previous X-Films, but was always cut out.

• A Deadpool movie had been in the works since 2004, with David S. Goyer directing and starring Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Reynolds himself had dreamed of playing Deadpool, and when he heard Deadpool was given a place in the script, he immediately approached the filmmakers for the role.

• Liev Schreiber was originally considered for the role of Colonel William Stryker, but he requested to take the role of Victor Creed as he found that role more interesting.

• Ryan Reynolds (as Deadpool) and Wesley Snipes (in the Blade movies) are the only two actors with roles in Marvel Comics film adaptations to have not gone through an audition prior to signing.

• Liev Schreiber was given a muscle suit to wear for his role as Victor Creed, similar to what Vinnie Jones (Juggernaut) wore in X-Men: The Last Stand, to make his physique look comparable to Hugh Jackman’s 220 lb. figure. The suit made Schreiber feel “humiliated”, and he requested for a chance to gain real muscle. He trained for three months while filming Defiance in Lithuania, and continued to train alongside Jackman during filming. Jackman also made Schreiber add a great deal of protein to his diet, which Schreiber called “the genocide of chickens.” In the end Schreiber gained 40 lbs. and had to buy several new suits due to his back gaining several inches in width: “I can’t fit into my favorite suit now! But I felt like I owed it to the genre to be big.”

• On March 31 2009, a bootleg copy of the film was leaked online. The copy had no watermark, unfinished/alternate VFX and a different font for the credits; but by the time the film officially released in theaters in 2009 (weeks later), it had been downloaded about 4.5 million times. Roger Friedman, a reporter for Fox News, wrote an adverse review of the film based on the leaked copy; he even described how easy it was to find and download the film. His review was immediately removed and he got fired.

• In the rear window of the Hudson’s truck is a sticker reading “Not all who wander are lost”, paraphrasing Bilbo’s verse about Aragorn from the J.R.R. Tolkien series The Lord of the Rings.

• David Ayer wrote an early version of the film’s screenplay.

• Throughout the film, Logan wears a brown/yellow motorcycle jacket. In the comics, Wolverine wore a brown/yellow costume.

• In one scene a black vintage Mercedes Benz can be spotted moving around. This was the vehicle Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr used in the beginning of X-Men: The Last Stand.

• Scott Porter auditioned for the role of Gambit.

• Karl Urban and Gerard Butler were both considered for the part of Victor Creed.

• Michelle Monaghan was offered the role of Silver Fox, but though she wanted to work with Hugh Jackman she had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.

• Michael C. Hall was at one point considered for the role of William Stryker.

• In response to criticism from fans over Lynn Collins being cast as the Native American, Silverfox, Collins reassured fans by claiming to have distant Native American ancestry.

• Hugh Jackman recommended Gavin Hood as director, noting parallels between Logan and the hero of Hood’s previous film, Tsotsi.

• Tyler Mane, who played Sabretooth in X-Men, requested to reprise the role, but he was turned down by the filmmakers who wanted a younger actor for the prequel.

• Brian Cox was interested in reprising his role as William Stryker from X2, using the digital skin-grafting VFX used in the last film on Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. The filmmakers thought it would be easier and cheaper to cast a younger actor instead and hired Danny Huston.

• Liev Schreiber describes Sabretooth as the most monstrous role he has ever played.

• Composer Harry Gregson-Williams used stanzas from an ancient Norse poem to underscore the theme “Logan Through Time.”

• Hugh Jackman recommended his Kate & Leopold co-star Liev Schreiber for the role of Sabretooth, describing him as having the necessary competitive streak to portray Sabretooth. During filming, they dared each other to perform more and more of their own stunts.

•Will i Am accidentally punched the camera while filming a fight scene and scarred his knuckles.

• Gavin Hood wanted to make Wolverine suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from his army years, but Fox Studios vetoed the idea as too heavy a theme for a comic-book film.

• Gavin Hood described the film’s central theme as Wolverine’s inner struggle between his animalistic and human qualities: “I realized that Wolverine’s great appeal lies in the fact that he’s someone who, in some ways, is filled with a great deal of self-loathing by his own nature and he’s constantly at war with himself.”

• The final scene (a destroyed Three Mile Island) was achieved with five different matte-paintings.
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• Production went into difficulties due to creative conflicts between director Gavin Hood and the studio. Richard Donner, producer Lauren Shuler Donner’s husband, had to fly to the set to ease tensions.

• Hugh Jackman collaborated with the writers on the script, as he wanted the film to be a character piece compared to the other X-Films.

• The only other poker player shown at the table other than Gambit and Wolverine when they first meet, is Daniel Negreanu, a popular real life Canadian professional poker player. He has won four World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles.

• Patrick Stewart plays Xavier in an uncredited role at the end of the film. The scene is shot on the grounds of Hatley Castle, Victoria, BC the original location of the Mutant school in X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand.

• Weapon XI is portrayed by two actors, Ryan Reynolds and Scott Adkins. Reynolds portrays Wade Wilson/Weapon XI for close-up/standing shots and simple stunts and Adkins handles the more complicated and dangerous fights in the final battle.

The telepathic mutant Emma Frost was going to have a major role in X-Men: The Last Stand, but when Brett Ratner replaced Bryan Singer as that film’s director, she was removed from the film. To make up for her removal, she appears in a cameo in this film and has a major role in X-Men: First Class. She has been revised to be Kayla Silver Fox’s sister; this indirectly explains Kayla’s telepathic abilities, when in the comics Kayla only has a healing ability and weapons skills (ironically Emma herself shows no indication of telepathy in this film).

• Some of the mutants William Stryker has captured and encaged are recognizable: the tongued boy is Mortimer Toynbee (Toad, who was seen in X-Men); the teenager with the tornado is Sofia Mantega (Wind Dancer), who can summon winds; the boy vibrating in his cage is Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver, son of Magneto), whose power is super-speed; and the boy with the tape over his mouth is Sean Cassidy (Banshee, who appears in X-Men: First Class), whose power is sonic-level screaming.

• Tim Pocock (Scott Summers – Cyclops) describes this film as Scott’s big transition moment, when Scott goes from a troubled teenager to a leader in the span of the film.

» Quotes

William Stryker: You were sentenced for decapitating a senior officer. The warden tells me that your sentence was carried out by a firing squad at 1000 hours. How’d that go?
Logan: It tickled.

[Logan reveals his adamantium claws]
Victor Creed: Oooh, shiny! Tell me something, Jimmy. Do you even know how to kill me?
Logan: I’m gonna cut your goddamned head off! See if that works!

Remy LeBeau: [dealing] So what brings you to our fair city, sir?
Logan: Victor Creed.
Remy LeBeau: [halts, looks at Logan] And who’s that?
Logan: He’s the man I’m gonna kill. You see, he works with a man named Stryker on an island. Just need to know where it is.
Remy LeBeau: And why would you think I know that?
Logan: Well, ’cause I know who you are, Gambit. You’re the guy who escaped and you’re the guy who’s gonna take me back there.
Remy LeBeau: [stares at Logan’s dog tags] Those are mighty nice tags you have there, sir. The men who took me had tags just like ’em.

Logan: [holding Stryker in a chokehold to the wall] For six years I’ve been here, no one knew me. And then you show up, and the next day she’s dead!
William Stryker: I tried to warn you.
Logan: Why didn’t you tell me it was Victor?
William Stryker: I didn’t know!
Logan: [slams him against the wall] Bullshit! Why?
William Stryker: I swear on my son’s life, I didn’t!
[Logan releases his grip on him]
William Stryker: Victor’s appetite was becoming too public. I had to lock him up. He felt I betrayed him. He went AWOL. He said he was coming for all of us.
Logan: You didn’t come to warn me, you came to save your own ass. [walks off]
William Stryker: So what’s your plan, Captain? You can’t beat him, Logan, you know you can’t!
Logan: I’m gonna go find him and kill him.
William Stryker: I can give you the tools to defeat him.
[Logan stops and turns to look at Stryker]
William Stryker: And we can still save the others.
Logan: You mean save yourself, right?
William Stryker: I promise you two things: You will suffer more pain than any other man can endure. But you will have your revenge.
Logan: I come with you, I’m coming for blood. No law, no code of conduct. You point me in the right direction, you get the hell out of my way.

William Stryker: All the horrible things in your life… Your father, the wars, I can make all this go away. You can live knowing that the woman you loved was hunted down, or you can join me. I promise you will have your revenge.

Kayla Silverfox: You’re not an animal, Logan!
Victor Creed: Oh, yes you are!

[Creed has a drink in a bar after killing Silver Fox]
Bartender: You’re not from around here, are you?
Victor Creed: [carving a smiley face into the table] What gave me away?
Logan: [outside, having tracked Creed down] VICTOR!
Victor Creed: [to the bartender] You got insurance on this place?
Bartender: Insurance? No.
Victor Creed: Too bad…
[Logan crashes into the bar]

Logan: I wanna know why!
Victor Creed: Why? You don’t call. You don’t write. How else am I supposed to get your attention?
[They charge at each other]

William Stryker: Mutants. I don’t hate them, I just know what they can do. You don’t realize this, but we are at war. I took an oath: Protect this country. My name is William Stryker, and I am not a monster. I am simply a patriot.

Travis Hudson: We all got a choice, Son.
Logan: Mine got taken. That will never happen again.

Wade Wilson: Great. Stuck in an elevator with five guys on a high-protein diet.
William Stryker: Oh, Wade.
Wade Wilson: Dreams really do come true.
William Stryker: Just shut it! You’re up next.
Wade Wilson: Thank you, sir. You look really nice today. It’s the green. It brings out the seriousness in your eyes.
Logan: Oh my God. Do you ever shut up, pal?
Wade Wilson: No. Not when I’m awake.

Logan: Are you Remy LeBeau?
Remy LeBeau: Do I owe you money?
Logan: No.
Remy LeBeau: Then Remy LeBeau, I am.

Kayla Silverfox: Why the moon is so lonely?
Logan: Why?
Kayla Silverfox: Because she used to have a lover.
Logan: You tell this to the kids?
Kayla Silverfox: No.
[Logan laughs]
Kayla Silverfox: His name was Kuekuatsu and they lived in the spirit world together.
Logan: Oh, this is a true story.
Kayla Silverfox: Mm-hm. And every night, they would wander the skies together. But, one of the other spirits was jealous. Trickster wanted the Moon for himself. So he told Kuekuatsu that the Moon had asked for flowers; he told him to come to our world and pick her some wild roses. But Kuekuatsu didn’t know that once you leave the spirit world, you can never go back. And every night, he looks up in the sky and sees the Moon and howls her name. But… he can never touch her again.
Logan: Wow. Koo-koo-ka-choo got screwed.

Logan: I thought you were the Moon and I was your Wolverine. Turns out you’re the Trickster, and I’m just the fool who got played.

Victor Creed: Nobody gets to kill you but me!

William Stryker: If you didn’t have that mouth of yours, Wade, you’d be the perfect solider.

William Stryker: Your country needs you.
Logan: I’m Canadian.

Wade Wilson: Fred got a new tattoo. I’m concerned.
Logan: [looks at Fred’s tattoo of a woman] Jesus, Fred, you just met her last night.
Frederick J. Dukes: I love her.
Logan: You love her? After one night?
Frederick J. Dukes: She’s a gymnast.

Frederick J. Dukes: You gonna puke?
Logan: If we were meant to fly, we’d grow wings.
David North: Aww, don’t worry Nancy, more people die from driving than flying.
Logan: Yeah? How ’bout impaling?
John Wraith: Hey be nice! Or be your approximation of nice… would you like a bucket?

Female Bartender: Are you drinking to forget?
Logan: No. I’m drinking to remember.

Logan: [gets into the ring] Listen, I ain’t leaving here till you tell me where Victor is. So come on, bub, for old times’ sake, huh?
Frederick J. Dukes: Did you just call me… Blob?
Logan: No, but…
[Fred cold cocks him by knocking him out of the ring]
John Wraith: I told you not to mention his weight. Why’d you call him Blob?
Logan: I didn’t call him Blob, I said bub! God damn it!

Remy LeBeau: You don’t like flying, huh?
Logan: I’m fine. Just concentrate on what you’re doing.
Remy LeBeau: You sure? You got a bit of sweat on your brow there.
Logan: Very funny. Just keep your eyes on the…
Remy LeBeau: On the what? The clouds? Keep my eyes on the clouds?
Logan: You’re going up and down like a freaking yo-yo here! Where’d you get this thing, anyway?
Remy LeBeau: Oh, this is my baby. I won here in a game. Jacks over fives.
Logan: Great.

[Logan confronts Weapon XI, AKA Deadpool]
Logan: Wade, is that you?
[sees Weapon XI’s his mouth has been completely sealed off]
Logan: Guess Stryker finally figured out how to shut you up, huh? Wade, you don’t have to do this… all right, maybe you do.

Heather Hudson: [driving, sees Logan running] Travis. [stops the truck]
Heather Hudson: I think there’s a naked man in our barn.
Travis Hudson: Yep.

Remy LeBeau: Large ones a hundred, and small ones a fifty. May I deal you any?
Logan: Well, what do I get for seventeen bucks?
Remy LeBeau: [laughs] Seventeen dollars? A cab ride home, perhaps.

Victor Creed: I despise my humanity as much as you cherish yours. And I will come for you without mercy.

Logan: This doesn’t change anything between us. We’re done.
Victor Creed: We could never be done, James. After all, we’re brothers. And brothers look out for each other.

William Stryker: [over the radio] Zero!
David North: I’m down…
William Stryker: Zero, is he dead? Is Logan dead? Come in!
Logan: [speaking into the headphones] You tried to kill me.
William Stryker: Logan?
Logan: Where’s Victor?
William Stryker: Come back to base, I’ll explain everything. We’ll take down Victor together…
Logan: Wrong answer. After I kill Victor, I’m coming for you.
William Stryker: Logan, if you go down this path, you’re not gonna like what you find.
Logan: You wanted the animal, Colonel. You got it.

William Stryker: We’re going to make you indestructible – but first, we’re gonna have to destroy you. You remember what we were looking for in Africa?
Logan: I remember.
William Stryker: Well, I found it. It helped us to create a metal compound so strong, that you’ll be able to withstand virtually anything. It’s called adamantium. I can’t put Victor down myself, Logan. To kill him, you’ll have to embrace the other side, become the animal.
Logan: Let’s do this.
William Stryker: Oh, I almost forgot…
[hold up Logan’s dog tags]
Logan: I want new ones.
William Stryker: What do you want them to say?
Logan: Wolverine.

Logan: Those were good people back there. Innocent people. [walks off]
David North: [laughs] It’s funny how innocent people tend to die around you!
[Wolverine stops, and uses his claws to ignite gasoline and blow up Zero’s copter]

Kayla Silverfox: [to Stryker] Walk until you bleed… then keep walking!

Victor Creed: When are you gonna figure it out? We’re not like them!
Logan: I am NOTHING like you.
Victor Creed: Sure you are. You just don’t know it yet.

John Wraith: I’m coming with you, Logan!
Logan: There’s no redemption where I’m going, John.
John Wraith: I ain’t asking for it!

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