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MORE EMPIRE FEATURES
The Future Of The X-Men Franchise
X-Men producer updates on Wolverine and his pals

Recently Empire jetted off to LA to attend a promotional junket for the new Wolverine Blu-ray. While there we got a look at the spiffy 1080p print, but more excitingly got a chance to sit down for a private chat with Lauren Shuler Donner, who's produced every X-Men film to date and is intimately involved with every future instalment currently in development. And there are lots of them. So read on for the sizzling skinny on all upcoming X-pics, from Wolverine's forthcoming foray to the Orient to the return of Deadpool and mutants-at-high-school prequel First Class. Over to you, Ms Donner...

WORDS NICK DE SEMLYEN

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The Future Of The X-Men Franchise | Wolverine 2 The Future Of The X-Men Franchise
Wolverine 2

"That's the furthest along of all the X-Men projects on the boil. It's actually the story we wanted to use for the first Wolverine film, but [Fox head honcho] Tom Rothman preferred to set the character up with an origin story first. This movie will really focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. We're very fortunate to have a story mostly outlined for us [from the comic book arc co-written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller]. And we wanted an A+ writer, so we want to Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie, The Usual Suspects). He came in and has tightened the story and got really immersed in the whole thing - he's in Japan in his head!

We want to make it authentic so I think it's very likely we'll be shooting in Japan. Also, by the way, we are looking to have the Japanese Fox executives involved in helping and counselling us, because it's a different culture and we don't want to portray the way they speak, dress and act in an inaccurate way. I think it's likely the characters will speak English rather than Japanese with subtitles.

What's cool about this part of the saga is that Wolverine will be fighting in a different style to what we've seen before. Mariko's father has this stick-like weapon, so Wolverine will have to fight against that. There'll be samurai, ninja, katana blades, different forms of martial arts - mano-a-mano, extreme fighting. We're going to come up with a new style of fighting. It's going to be awesome."

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Have Your Say
Which of these are you most excited about? And which stories would you choose for each character? Register or login now to have your say.

Your Comments
1 Please don't
Posted on Sunday February 7, 2010, 19:00 by juneinaz
My wife was dying to see the first movie and I resisted. I finally gave and took her to see it at one of the "dollar". showings and she said it wasn't even worth a buck. Please Marvel stop cranking out garbage and focus on comics. Read More

2 Ultimate Battle
Posted on Friday November 6, 2009, 17:35 by Wizzard
Looking forward to both wolverine 2 and deadpool. Top of the list of films to see would be Apocalypse versus the sentinels. Change the killers of the president to the horsemen of the apocalypse and the story from Days of the Future Past could be used. the biggest problem with apocalypse would be his armour without his armour his a huge guy with grey or blue skin which would be easy. His apply to grow into a giant has been done before think Dr Manhattan as has changing arms to weapons like T2. Read More

3 No Thanks
Posted on Friday October 23, 2009, 17:33 by coyoteone
Unless this franchise calls "do-over" on X3 and gives (Dark) Phoenix the attention she rightfully deserves, I have no intention of giving them any more of my hard-earned money. It is amazing to me that Famke Janssen was able to do as much as she did with that horrible looking costume and the weak-ass direction she got from the ultimate hack, Brett Ratner. I will always remember Phoenix/Jean Grey as she was at the end of X2, with fire in her eyes. Bet Singer would have given us a CGI firebird, majesty and power. What Ratner did with this character and that storyline made no sense at all. Read More

4 X-Men Origins
Posted on Friday October 23, 2009, 15:22 by brett27
When i 1st heard that they were going to do the X-Men Origins, i thought brilliant we get to see all the original characters (wolverine,cyclops,beast, jean grey and iceman) and how they got started, but these days it's not a case of lets make a movie to tell a story it's more like lets make a movie and see how much merchandise can they produce. This means that the story lines are very weak and they don't even bother to follow the details of the original comics. I hate it when they film producers see a character from a comic that was given (by the original designer) a background and a life and then just decide to completely alter the character's details. (example: Iceman was an original X-men but in the films he was just a kid? Did he just go back in time??????? Juggernaut was they half brother of Charles Xavier but in the film they did not even acknowledge each other as though they didn't even know each other. WHY WHY WHY do this? If the film producers want to do this then create aRead More

5 RE: As long as...
Posted on Friday October 23, 2009, 12:39 by britesparc
trebuchet ms"]Whilst I think ttp://www.empireonline.com/myempire/default.asp?memid=2 54985]calicokatment was a little naïve (and a touch “bang the drum”) she does raise some very good points regarding diversity in superhero films.  And y was pretty disgusting, so I’m inclined to side with her anyway.e=2] e=2]A few exceptions aside, I don’t really have any problem with the ethnicity (or, in some cases, gender) of comic book heroes, or literary figures in general.  It goes without saying this isn’t applicable in all cases, but (correct me if I’m wrong here, guys and gals) there’s no reason why Cyclops couldn’t be black or Jean Grey couldn’t be Asian.  Likewise, Green Lantern, the Flash, Green Arrow, Black Canary… all, in my opinion, colour-blind heroes.  Even Spider-Man would work: all he has to be is smart, downtrodden, and working-class.  He’s obviously not gay, though, unless he’s attempting to over-compensate with Gwen Stacey and Mary Jane.e=2] eRead More

6 RE: As long as...
Posted on Friday October 23, 2009, 10:24 by elab49
But unless they are doing it as a period piece I have no problem acknowledging times change. They were 5 white kids - but that was the point. And the comic went on over the years to quite extensively deal with the idea of difference and how we treat it. They were the outsiders in society - not the nice clean-cut heroes who got their powers normal ways. And they were taking that message to a predominantly white audience (I think calicokat might have missed the fact that was the point, slightly). That message is more redundant now, because we get it, and it no longer needs to be presented in that manner (one hopes - but I doubt the BNP would be a natural target audiencen was the ideas and the stories - not just, or even really needs to be, physical identikits of the characters. Surely the most important thing is the writing and direction, particularly given the mess the last couple have been? Read More

7 RE: As long as...
Posted on Friday October 23, 2009, 09:56 by ohwhatfun
@Calicocat Sorry, but I cannot agree with your views on this. Like it or not, the X-Men origin story was originally about 5 white kids, admittedly this was at a time in history when there was not the equality that we have now, using kids of the same gender and race is important in terms of it being faithful to the original story. Would Bishop, another fan favourite African-American character look the same on the big screen, or be recognised by fans of the comic if he was white? Probably not. Would there be a massive outcry due to the changing of his gender? Hell yeah! As for your comments about the Green Lantern movie not using Jon Stewart as the main character and instead going with Hal Jordan, this perhaps couldn't have anything to do with the fact that Hal Jordan was GL prior to Jon Stewart? Personally, I think that using Hal is a better option as it provides more opportunity to bring in later GL's such as Jon and Guy Gardener in subsequent films and opens them up toRead More

8 As long as...
Posted on Tuesday October 20, 2009, 11:38 by bronco3114
...all the various stories from the X-Men sub-universe are stand alone I don't have a problem with it. Wolverine was a bag of shit from begining to end dispite the fact that Jackman, Reynolds and Schreiber (suprisingly) where so well cast. As long as it's plot driven as opposed to the commercially driven and in-plausible nonsence that Wolverine was then there's no reason to be so sceptical. Some films will succeed and some will invariably fail but there's no reason if say Magneto, X-Men: New School or Deadpool have to go along the same tangent, tone or story arc as Wolverine or the previous X-Men (they rarely do in the comics). Fox and Donner are making all the right noises (though we've heard them before) if they treat the various other arcs i.e Gambit, Cable/X-Man, X-Factor etc in the spirt of they where intended and don't rape the story too much then I look forward (in hope as much as excitment) to their next efforts. Read More

9 Mistake
Posted on Monday October 19, 2009, 17:20 by luke666
First of all: i wondered if any of you have noticed the spelling mistake on line (10) just after "A+ writer, so we want to Chris McQuarrie" where i think it should say "A+ writer, so we (went) to Chris McQuarrie" sorry to be a stickler but isn't this meant to be journalism. Second of all: what a surprise another disgruntled Lesbian, "CalicoKat" what the F..k are you talking about, Comics an Film not having the ability to openly discuss Race an Gender, what a naive series of comments and why do you feel you have to project the fact you are a (white lesbian) into the argument. i suppose your Pre-Dated story will only consist of a crack team of superhuman lesbians struggling against the oppression and bigotry of the white human male. culminating in a huge street brawl taking place in the middle of a lesbi-pride parade. I'm not hating the Lesbian or Gay movement, but don't be so conceited about it. Read More

10 Just stop now!!!
Posted on Monday October 19, 2009, 11:46 by Shaunyboy27
From the sounds of it the head of Fox shouldn't be making decisions about the direction of the franchise! The Wolverine and Deadpool concepts have a lot of potential but we know they won't be executed well! The best films are those who do bold things! Make a decision and let Deadpool break the fourth wall. Would totally suit a character like him and bump up the rating! Make them how it should be instead of safe, dull options! Read More

11 FOX=FAIL
Posted on Sunday October 18, 2009, 01:00 by down4orce
As long as Fox excecs control the scripts/production, we will have more of the same cash cow drivel. And who the shit thinks an X-Men Babies movie/series is a good idea!!! The bottom of the barrel has clearly been reached (and then some!). Read More

12
Posted on Saturday October 17, 2009, 19:12 by Agent69
Magneto project aside, the rest sound absolutely horrible. Read More

13
Posted on Saturday October 17, 2009, 18:58 by freemantle_uk
What X-Men fans and the X-Men series really needs is for Bryan Singer to come back and do X-Men 3 properly, focusing on Emma Frost, the Phoenix and the Sentinels. Read More

14
Posted on Saturday October 17, 2009, 17:17 by SoapyKC
Wow that was a great feature, because I kind of got lost in what was happening with the X-Men franchise, so thanks Empire. I'm pretty excited for Deadpool and Wolverine 2. Read More

15
Posted on Saturday October 17, 2009, 03:48 by MissMarie
I just want Bryan Singer to come back. Read More

16 I want Gambit
Posted on Saturday October 17, 2009, 02:18 by paulie walnuts
Who gives a fuck about the other spin-offs (except Deadpool). Gambit is the best character in the Marvel universe. He deserves alot more than a 10 min sidekick role to Wolverine. Read More

17
Posted on Saturday October 17, 2009, 02:09 by res
Ben Whishaw for Magneto? Read More

18 Deadpool on the right track, but X-men: First Class troubling
Posted on Saturday October 17, 2009, 01:16 by calicokat
Back in 1963 nobody batted an eye at five white kids in a massive mansion in upstate New York in a story about discrimination and Otherness. This is not 1963, and five white, straight, cisgendered Christians, four out of five of whom are male, are going to look completely horrible whinging about persecution on screen. Unlike in 1963, where it wasn't alright to begin with, it's also general public knowledge now that that Is Not On. It took Marvel until 1975 to introduce a black character into the series and that character's mutation gave her white hair and blue eyes, diminishing the 'Africanness' of her features. Today, with excellent titles like X-Factor, there are many characters of color and even homosexuals like me in the books. (I, myself, am a white lesbian.) Producing a story that back-peddles fifty years in terms of what little ability comics and film have gained to openly discuss race and gender and prejudice is pretty distasteful. Deadpool is the most promising Read More

19
Posted on Friday October 16, 2009, 20:11 by deathbat6661
Younger-ish Magneto = Misha Collins. I want that man in the Marvel 'verse, I think Magneto would be a great start for him. Read More


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