Wolverine Unveiled

First look at prequel footage

One of the biggest surprises today at Comic Con came at the end of the Fox panel when, unscheduled, a very special guest appeared. Coming straight from filming in Australia, Hugh Jackman leapt onstage to introduce the first footage from Gavin Hood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Needless to say the crowd went absolutely mental.

What was shown was a sizzle reel of footage that will likely form the basis of the first trailer. Action-packed isn’t even the word for it and several scenes, including appearances from other well known mutant characters, drew forth a storm of applause.

The footage begins with Jackman’s Logan and Liev Schreiber’s Victor Creed (aka Sabertooth) huddled in a prison cell in army fatigues (Creed’s fingernails are noticeably claw-like). Danny Huston’s William Stryker stands before them.
Stryker: “You were sentenced to death for decapitating a senior officer. Your sentence was carried out by a firing squad at 10:00 hours. How did that go?���
Cut to the two tied to stakes and a squad of soldiers opening fire.
Cut back to the cell.
Logan: “It tickled.”
Logan and Creed are seen escaping, followed by a shot of Logan silhouetted by a huge explosion as he walks towards the camera.
Stryker: “My name is Major William Stryker. Tired of denying your true nature?”
Creed: “What do you care?”
Stryker: “Oh I care. I care because I know how valuable you are. I’m putting together a special team. With special privileges. So tell me, how would you like to really serve your country?”

As this is said a variety of images flash across the screen, including Logan with bone claws, an acrobatic Taylor Kitsch as Gambit with his staff glowing at both ends, Silverfox, The Blob and a very brief shot of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool – although he looked more like a normal Ryan Reynolds in a red t-shirt than the masked/scarred Deadpool of the comics.

Cut to: Images of the adamantium injection tank from X2.
Creed: “We didn’t sign up for this.”
Creed: “Who do you think you are?”
Creed: “This is what we do.”
Stryker: “Become the animal.”
Stryker: “Embrace the other side.”

Cut to: a series of images of Logan undergoing the Weapon X experimentation, being submerged in the tank and having adamantium bonded to his skeleton. We see an x-ray image of the metal going into his skull. His claws pop out – now metal-coated – and he springs from the tank in a classic Weapon X look with the adamantium injection spikes still protruding from his body. He attacks everyone around him.

Unidentified Voice: “We’re making him indestructible.”
Cut to: Logan as a boy, bone claws extended.
From there the action heats up with Wolverine clashing several times with Sabertooth in some impressive action sequences (Creed flies through the air, claws first, in one). There are also more images of The Blob and Gambit. Logan in a jeep, which explodes, flinging him into the air where he latches onto the front of a helicopter with his claws.

Cut to: a close up of Logan facing off against Sabertooth
Logan: “I’m gonna cut your god damn head off. See if that works”
He pops his claws.

Jackman went on to say that they’ve just wrapped so nothing’s finished yet but he did say that fans can expect a large amount of “berserker rage” from the film and thanked geeks everywhere, without whom he “wouldn’t have a career.” He also singled out Wolverine creator Len Wein (who happened to be sitting next to Empire) for a very special thanks.

Now, whatever misgivings fans may hold over the film, there’s no denying they saw an impressive sequence, and if the rest of the film is as good as what was shown today then Wolverine may turn out to be a worthy X-sequel after all.