Those who haven’t died the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (SPOILER ALERT) end up with no memory of all the events that have just happened – the latter not just exclusive to those in the film. A decade on, those who saw the first spin-off of the X-Men franchise would be hard-pressed to remember much about it.
Hugh Jackman was back playing the part that made him a star, that of the mutant Logan, who here earns the moniker of Wolverine, but in a film that was not at all necessary nor anyone had any real expectations of. Despite which, it went on to make more than $350 million at the box office.
To mark the tenth anniversary of Origins, here is a refresher of the biggest curio of the Marvel film world, with some interesting things about it (or rather the only interesting things about it) that may have slipped minds, as well as a look behind the scenes and its place in the cultural landscape now.
It was directed by an Academy Award winner
X-Men Origins: Wolverine helmer Gavin Hood had previously directed the 2005 drama Tsotsi, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
During production the studio wanted to replace Hood after disagreeing on which direction to take the film, but he retained the job and later earned praise for crafting Origins‘ action set pieces, which are the best thing about it.
Ryan Reynolds made his first foray into the Marvel universe
Though Reynolds’ character in the film is called Wade Wilson, and his eventual alter ego is referred to as Deadpool, the character was “not Deadpool” in the actor’s own words.
This was a role Reynolds had wanted ever since hearing that a film of Deadpool was in development, but he was not happy with the character’s treatment in Origins. He begrudgingly accepted the part, though, after being told that it was a one-time offer – if he didn’t play it here, he wouldn’t at all.
He later made the part his own in 2016’s Deadpool, and got to “erase” the version he was unhappy with in the sequel:
Dominic Monaghan is in it…
Yes, Merry Brandybuck himself moved from hobbit to mutant in Origins, where he makes a bland and superfluous appearance as electricity manipulator Chris Bradley, the least interesting character in the film (and that’s saying something.)
…So is will.i.am
Judge on The Voice and front man of the Black Eyed Peas made his acting debut in Origins as teleporter John Wraith. While many may have forgotten this fact, the man himself has a permanent reminder of his time on the film – the scars on his knuckles he received while filming a fight scene.
Gambit and Kayla were later reunited in John Carter
Taylor Kitsch, who plays the supporting character Gambit, and Lynn Collins, aka Wolverine’s love Kayla Silverfox, would soon after be re-united in 2012 when they fronted John Carter for Disney.
There Kitsch played the eponymous hero and Collins starred as the female lead Dejah Thoris. Whether or not it was a happy reunion, it was not a happy aftermath, as John Carter‘s mis-managed budget and poor marketing saw it go on to become one of the biggest flops in cinema history.
It was to be the first of many
X-Men Origins: Magneto was to follow this film. David S Goyer had written a script and Ian McKellen was supposedly in discussions to reprise the part from the original films. However, with Wolverine only a modest success and progress lagging early on, the Magneto origin project was shelved. Probably for the best. McKellen did later play the character again for X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014.
Wolverine himself was not happy with the final product (and was not alone in thinking that)
“I had something to prove, and we could have done better … Somehow the first Wolverine movie ended up looking like the fourth X-Men — just with different characters,” Jackman said in hindsight of Origins.
Critics were not convinced, either. The Daily Telegraph called it “an artificial stimulus package of the most unsatisfying kind,” while Rolling Stone called it “a transparent attempt to squeeze a faltering franchise for its last drop of box-office juice.”
There’s a scene where Wolverine boxes an obese man
This, most of all, deserves to be forgotten.