It’s early days yet, but it looks like Fox’s mutant prequel sequel, X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 (or whatever the hell it’s going to be called), is heading in the right direction after Christopher McQuarrie was brought on board to write the screenplay.
McQuarrie, probably best known as Bryan Singer’s go-to screenwriter of choice (he wrote Public Access, won an Oscar for The Usual Suspects, did an uncredited polish on the first X-Men, and most recently penned Valkyrie), is one of the best writers in Hollywood, and his hiring would seem to be a strong signal that Fox and producer/star Hugh Jackman are determined to ensure that the Wolverine sequel is an improvement on the original.
That, of course, wouldn’t be hard. Although the movie grossed almost $400 million at the global box office, it was widely considered to be a largely unsatisfactory and nonsensical origin tale that managed a feat previously thought impossible by rendering its title character somewhat dull.
The sequel, though, should be much better. Although little is known about the main storyline, it has been confirmed, by the world and his wife, that the sequel – based on the great Frank Miller/Chris Claremont mini-series from the early ‘80s - will see the newly-amnesiac Logan pitch up in Japan, where he gets drawn into a conflict between his animalistic side and a desire to adhere to the noble ways of the Samurai code.
Sounds like this could be right up the alley of the guy who wrote and directed The Way Of The Gun, although details are still very vague. How will Taylor Kitsch’s Gambit fit into all of this? Will Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth make a snarly return to torment the brother he will soon, according to X-Men, never know he had? Will this be a Wolverine movie that actually focuses on Wolverine rather than bends over backwards to become a team-based flick?
The answers will start to come, probably as soon as McQuarrie completes his first draft. Of course, McQuarrie’s involvement has already sent the rumour mill into overdrive, with some suggesting that Bryan Singer may be coaxed back into the X-fold.
Singer, though, has committed to the new movie version of Battlestar Galactica, so it seems likely that a new director will be found. Which makes us wonder: is McQuarrie a contender? He’s only directed once – the aforementioned and underrated Way Of The Gun, back in 2000 – but now that he’s reunited with his old friend, Jackman, you never know…
Lauren Shuler Donner is also producing the movie, which won’t go before the cameras for a while yet.