Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Wolverine Returns -- Again

While the domestic reaction to last summer's Hugh Jackman starrer The Wolverine was decidedly sedate (it took in $132 mil against a $120 mil budget -- no small potatoes, but still the lowest of the six X-Men flicks), it clawed its way to a mighty $413 mil worldwide (second highest in the series). Personally, I was of mixed opinion on it, but you can't argue with those numbers, so it's no surprise that movement has quickly begun on another escapade for Jackman's superhero alter-ego. This would be his seventh starring turn, for those of you keeping score. If you're Fox, this makes all the sense in the world.

While the domestic receipts may be following a downward trajectory on the X-Men franchise (though I fully expect that'll change with next year's Days of Future Past), it still remains a powerful brand globally, not to mention a marketing and merchandising juggernaut. And that's not to mention the fact that any lull in the assembly line would likely mean losing the whole cache of Marvel mutants to Disney, which I'm pretty sure Fox really doesn't want to have happen. Beyond that, Jackman is incredibly popular in the role, plus he loves playing it.

Despite his recent intimations otherwise, I'd say he's got a solid five or six more years he could easily put in before thinking about hanging up his claws for good (a sad day, whenever it ends up happening). The Wolverine II (or whatever it ends up being called), is expected to bring writer/director James Mangold back into the fold (presumably he and Jackman enjoyed a good partnership last time), and this will likely follow the more introspective, character-driven path of The Wolverine rather than the bombast and spectacle of the other X-flicks. No word on a release date, but I'd expect to see this in 2016 at the very earliest.

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

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