When Bryan Singer’s first X-Men came out, pretty predictably Wolverine became the breakout character of the film. Wolverine has been the most popular X-Man for decades now, and even though it had some other flaws, since that first film nailed the writing and casting of the Wolverine character so well, it was bound to be a success. Two X-Men sequels later and the Wolverine lovefest was still ongoing, so the character ended up getting his own spinoff movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That movie was such a conceptual mess and creative failure that I didn’t imagine I’d ever want to see another go around of Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine in this X-Men universe again. It started out good, but then you ran it into the ground. Let’s all move on. But then the impossible was announced. Darren Aronofsky would be making a sequel called The Wolverine, it would have little to nothing to do with X-Men: Origins, it would be set in Japan, and it would very closely follow the first Wolverine in Japan limited series from the comics. Holy heck, I desperately wanted to see a Wolverine movie again.
Unfortunately, over the course of the development of this film, everything that initially excited me about it has been systematically stripped away from the concept. First the director, the man whose name got me excited about this movie in the first place, dropped out of the film because he couldn’t spend so much time shooting in Japan. That was a devastating blow, but not a death knell; if they got an exciting name to step in, and stuck to the source material, this could still be great. Eventually it became clear that James Mangold was going to be the new director, and while his name wasn’t exactly exciting, it wasn’t a deal breaker either. And things were still going to stick very closely to that original Wolverine in Japan story. There were even reports that filming for the movie would begin shooting in Canada this November.
But now Deadline Petoskey is reporting that the shooting date is likely being pushed back from this fall to spring 2012 because they’re having trouble scouting shooting locations in Japan.
In order to combat this they’re probably going to be doing more filming in Canada, or even ditch Japan all together and just do the whole film there. That would, I’m assuming, mean massive re-writes to the script. Or at least it would mean we’d be getting a movie set in a Japan that looked a heck of a lot like Canada with some makeshift Japanese architecture inserted here and there. With that news, I’m out. Fox can do whatever they want with this project, make it, don’t make it, turn it into something completely different; whatever. All of my improbable enthusiasm for the movie has been spent, so I don’t care. Yes, I’ll see whatever The Wolverine ends up being when it comes out, but only because I see everything when it comes out, not because I have any faith in the film.
Does it hurt whenever something new gets reported about The Wolverine? Every time.