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January 16, 2009

Wolverine Going Back for Extensive Reshoots

In an interview with the New York Post's Popwrap Blog, "Lost" actor Dominic Monaghan confirmed that he's scheduled to do another ten days of filming in Vancouver at the end of January.

Asked if it's a reshoot or an additional scene, Monaghan says "We're doing a bit of both, more than anything else, it's an additional scene... my character features in a huge set piece with Hugh and Liev [Schreiber]. I think the best thing I can tell you is that it's a flashback scene."

Such extensive reshooting so close to the film's May release date is surprising but not unheard of. The film has been plagued throughout its production by talk of difficulties, mostly distributor 20th Century Fox apparently interfering with director Gavin Hood's dark 1970's-like feature to make it more action-heavy and kid-friendly.

Director Richard Donner's appearance on-set has stemmed talk that his 'advisory capacity' on the production was a little more than that, and more than a few sources who've read the script or been involved in the production have referred to the film's last act as being "a mess". (uhhh yeah, to say the least...)

With the studio under immense pressure to perform this year, the reshoots could actually be a good thing. Collider got in touch with Fox about the talk and the studio replied that the reshoots were "always planned and are intended to capture specific weather conditions".

The site also speculated that a proposed set visit of journos during the reshoots shows that Fox is trying to boost confidence in the property, though the reality there is much more practical - flying a group of American journos to Vancouver is a lot cheaper than flying them all out to Sydney.

With the Watchmen legal battle finally coming to its end, and Fox not getting more than just a large helping of undeserved money, I would expect the anti-20th Century Fox backlash to slowly dissipate. But with this news today, it might swing back into high gear. Last August we reported that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was experiencing some issues, primarily with power struggles between its director, Gavin Hood, and Fox's CEO Tom Rothman. And this was all before the trailer hit. However, an update has arrived from Collider tonight that says they're going back to Vancouver to do some extensive reshoots. Although I'm normally optimistic, I'm pretty sure this is a very bad sign, despite the other opinions I've heard from my peers.

We've heard a lot of negative behind-the-scenes buzz about X-Men Origins: Wolverine for a long time but have tried to play it off because we were hoping it would turn out great in the end. Obviously the trailer was impressive, but for some odd reason I felt like it wasn't as polished as it could be. Normally I love trailers like that, but I could tell that Gavin Hood had some problems keeping his vision of Wolverine intact. In regards to the production, word is that Richard Donner (yes, of Superman: The Movie), was often on set "ghost directing" and providing more than just minimal feedback. While this shouldn't be a bad thing, apparently it is, but Gavin Hood still might get his chance to go back and reshoot a lot of the movie.

Collider is reporting that Fox is conducting very extensive reshoots over the next few weeks. They're also saying that studios usually try and keep news like this under the radar, but Fox even wanted to bring in some journalists to cover these reshoots. Why? Well because apparently Gavin Hood is going to be directing them. My guess is that he's getting his chance to fix the movie, but they're also trying to "cover up" any previous bad buzz by bringing journalists in and "showing" them that it's Hood directing, not Rothman and not Donner. So why didn't Gavin get to do this to begin with? And I don't understand how rushing reshoots this late in the game can be called a good thing. I'm sorry, but I'm not drinking this Kool-Aid.

What everyone is saying is that the trailer, which received an extreme amount of positive buzz, gave Fox the confidence they needed to go back and do these reshoots. That may be true, but I again question why this isn't something they thought about earlier. Fox really thought a Wolverine movie wouldn't be a big hit? They've got to be kidding me! As much as I'm hoping that X-Men Origins: Wolverine does turn out to be the gritty, badass Wolverine movie we've all wanted to see ever since Hugh Jackman unleashed his claws in X-Men in 2001, I've got a feeling this isn't going to be it. And it's not Gavin Hood's fault. We know exactly who to blame - the very same studio that tried to scoop up Watchmen. Good luck Fox!


Posted by dschnee at January 16, 2009 7:48 AM