Wolverine Creator Len Wein On Creating The Canadian Superhero And Hugh Jackman

Comic book writer Len Wein looks back on creating Wolverine with John Romita Sr. and discusses his relationship with Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman. He also reveals that in terms of comic book movies, Lucius Fox has earned him more money than Wolverine.

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By Mark Julian - 8/3/2013
Wolverine creator Len Wein
Sure, on the comic book side of the X-Men films, Chris Claremont presently finds himself recieving a lot of press recently for "The Wolverine" and "X-Men: Days of Future Past" as the writer of the storylines that inspired those films. But let us not forget those that actually created the characters, like Len Wein, who introduced Wolverine(along with John Romita, Sr. and Roy Thomas) in 1974's "The Incredible Hulk #180". Said Wein on the current Wolverine film, "I loved it. We’re going to go see it again this week, in fact. My wife and my family have not seen it yet, so I’m going to take them to see it this weekend. It is in very many ways not really a superhero film; I thought that makes it spectacular. It’s really a character study. There’s all the superhero action you could ask for, but at the heart of it that’s not what it’s about. It’s about exploring who and what makes Logan what he is."

As far as creating the character, Wein shared, "It’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Wolverine came out of my writing an entirely different book. I was writing a book called “Brother Voodoo” for Marvel at the time, which was set in the Caribbean. I like writing accents, I like to write so you can sort of hear the voice. So, I was writing a number of the characters with Caribbean accents. Then the editor in chief at Marvel, Roy Thomas, called me into his office and said, “You know, I hate you.” I said, “Thank you so much!” He said, “No, seriously, you write these great accents and I can’t do accents.” He said, “I’d love to see how you would write a Canadian accent. I have the name.” The name was Wolverine. He said, “Come up with a Canadian character called Wolverine.” So, I went and researched wolverines and discovered they were short, really hairy, feisty animals with razor-sharp claws who are utterly fearless and would take on animals 10 times their size. I went, well, that’s the easiest character I’ve ever created. I developed him out of that particular definition. The weird thing was, I actually did a lousy Canadian accent. I thought he ended up sounding more Australian in that first story. The irony of that is so amazing to me. (laughs) I made him a mutant because there had been discussions about reviving the X-Men as an international team of mutants. I thought I would provide for whoever ended up writing that book ["Giant-Size X-Men" No. 1]. I never realized I would be the guy who ended up writing that book. I made my own life much more interesting and simple than I expected."

And what does Wein think of Wolverine actor, Hugh Jackman? "he amazing thing about Hugh is that on many levels he’s the antithesis of Wolverine. He’s one of the nicest, most gracious guys I’ve ever known. My wife absolutely adores him. She’d throw me over for him in a second. He’s just that guy. He’s sincere, he’s generous and thankful and appreciative. I think he realizes he sort of fell into the role of his life. They’re going to have to pry it out of his cold, dead hands one day, I think. He loves doing the character. He’s a terrific actor. I’ve always said, to my mind, the most talented person in his industry is the casting director who looked at Hugh playing Curly in “Oklahoma!” and said, “Yeah, he could be the most dangerous man on Earth.”

Recently, Jackman publicly thanked Wein at San Diego Comic-Con during the Fox panel which was memorable for the comic book writer as he says Jackman is the only actor to publicly acknowledge his role in shaping a few of the characters (there are quite a few) that are now being played by some well known Hollywood names. However, Wein also shockinlgy revealed that he's never received a credit on one of the Fox X-Men films, despite being the creator for their most popular mutants. He went on to share that it's frustrating, both for the characters he created at Marvel and DC but that even if DC Entertainment doesn't formally acknowledge his efforts, he at least is rewarded monetarily. With Fox/Marvel he did get a check finally, for the latest Wolverine film but he reveals that a secondary character like "Lucius Fox has earned [him] a great deal more money than Wolverine ever has." Go figure.


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Comparing The First Trailer For THE WOLVERINE To Chris Claremont's Limited Series


"Spinning out of the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Logan (Hugh Jackman) travels to Japan where he falls for the beautiful Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto) to the grave displeasure of her father Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) and her half-brother, the fearsome Silver Samurai (Will Yun Lee). But this isn't Logan's first trip to the Land of the Rising Sun or his first encounter with the Yashida clan. Based on a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie) and Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, Total Recall )and the comic book by Frank Miller and Chris Claremont."


Running Time: 2 hrs 6 minutes
Release Date: July 26, 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Brian Tee, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Mark Bomback (screenplay) Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay) Frank Miller (comic book) Chris Claremont (comic book)
Source: HeroComplex
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SnapperCarr - 8/3/2013, 8:24 PM
Its because Morgan Freeman, god, who plays Lucius Fox that he receives more money for that character.
SnapperCarr - 8/3/2013, 8:25 PM
Erik10101 - 8/3/2013, 8:31 PM
Yeah, Morgan Freeman is Morgan Freeman.
TheWolverine08 - 8/3/2013, 8:45 PM
I got major respect for this guy, he helped create one of comics greatest characters. Fox, give this man his credit NOW!!!
Darlene1974 - 8/3/2013, 8:52 PM
Loving This Post, thanks for sharing... Love WOLVIE's films!!!....
MegaMatt - 8/3/2013, 8:52 PM
I didnt know he also created Hugh Jackman!
thewolveRAYne - 8/3/2013, 8:55 PM
The Wolverine I'd my fav character and is the reason I started collecting comics. Unfortunately he's also the reason I stopped because they spread him so thin and the numerous writers and artists have just twisted and mangled the character. Hugh is Wolverine. You msy hate the X Men movies but Jackman is spot on and worth the price of admission all by his lonesome. I love these movies (even origins) because I can focus on Jackmans performance and he knocks it out of the park each time.

I hope he keepd at it until they gotta kill this Wolverine off and finally reboot. But I hope the last performance is a 70 year old Hugh doing his best Clint Eastwood and stars as Old Man Logan before they hotta move on to a new actor.
thewolveRAYne - 8/3/2013, 8:56 PM
Awful spelling...I know
pistolero82 - 8/3/2013, 8:57 PM
Awesome read. Fox give him his money!!!!
sameoldthing - 8/3/2013, 8:59 PM
Len Wein likes to create characters with names of hairy animals..Wolverine & Fox.

Who's next..The Ferret?
Ghostt - 8/3/2013, 8:59 PM
I like this guy!
TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 8/3/2013, 8:59 PM
Hugh is Wolverine and The Wolverine is my favorite CBM of 2013 thus far. Thank you, Mr. Wein, for crafting the utmost mysterious, coolest and greatest Marvel character in comic book history. I am so sorry Quesada and Paul Jenkins ruined your magnificent creation.
tobeyoungagain - 8/3/2013, 9:11 PM
So he's getting money for a secondary character, and nothing for a main character. I'll say it now before the hate begins. "To be young and dumb". When you Marvelites grow up, you'll see how [frick] up this is. Or better yet, if you're lucky enough to create something, and receive nothing for it! You'll understand how [frick]ed up this is.
ABLEE337 - 8/3/2013, 9:12 PM
Great article.
Nice job Mark Julian.
kevberg - 8/3/2013, 9:13 PM
THE WOLVERINE was solidly on the money. Yukio was just how she should be, amazing to watch on screen.Hugh dialed it up a notch and had some great lines. While it wasn't a perfect movie, the Great stuff far out weighed the bad.

I liked the actress playing Viper...she reminded me of Michelle Pfieffers batsh@t crazy Catwoman at times( speech, attitude....)...But what they did with viper was annoying.

and yeah, the arrows thing with the ninjas and at the end was annoying.

I ENJOYED it more than than IM3 if only because they short-changed the Mandarin....

Its Tied with MOS for me as the best CBM of the Summer.

If Xmen :Dofp is as good or better than this, Im pretty happy.
OldBenKenobi - 8/3/2013, 9:14 PM
What an awesome story. Great article.
WeaponX93 - 8/3/2013, 9:22 PM
@TheWolverine08
I know he's cool and all, but I wouldn't say Lucious Fox is one of the greatest. Lol

@GambitFreak
It was an amazing movie. I think its my new favorite. How did you like it compared to the McQuarrie script?
Jollem - 8/3/2013, 9:22 PM
DEATHbyEXILE - 8/3/2013, 9:25 PM
YearOne - 8/3/2013, 9:35 PM
Hi just pointing out error : ''"he amazing thing about Hugh is that on many levels he’s the antithesis of Wolverine.'' you missed a T to make ''the amazing thing''. Well, Lein Wein will always be a hero in my book, sad that he hasn't received much money, I hope one day he will. Wolverine is taking over theaters. D:
TheRationalNerd - 8/3/2013, 9:46 PM
Just left out of the theater about 30-40 min form seeing the film. I feel so bad for the people who left before the mid credits scene arrived. lol

The theater was so packed me and my father were separated, luckily I yelled his name out so he could see the extra credit scene.

I give the movie a solid 8/10 it was very good. The had me "OooooOOing" "Ssssssst" and "Youuching" from my seat! The fighting and action scenes were by far the BEST Wolverine has ever done. Great job!!! :D
TheRationalNerd - 8/3/2013, 9:47 PM
*my father and I* not "Me and my father" (grammar nazi)
RJ4651 - 8/3/2013, 10:15 PM
Wow, he receives more $ for a third string character. That's pretty funny.
WOLVERINEDECADE - 8/3/2013, 10:39 PM
Thank you Mr. Len Wein for giving us the first and greatest Canadian Superhero
kevberg - 8/3/2013, 11:33 PM
@ckal
feel free to screw off anytime, ass fritter.
Chloefornication - 8/4/2013, 12:15 AM
Wow. He's such a nice guy. I'd like to thank him not only for being so nice in this interview, but also for creating such an iconic character that has been part of our lives for so long.
Demongod20 - 8/4/2013, 12:15 AM
@ McGee
Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman :/
jimoakley666 - 8/4/2013, 12:27 AM
Good old Len. Guy's a leg-end.

I loved the movie. Hoping to see it again this week. I'm hoping the open end leads to Logan (as Patch) and Yukio heading to Madripoor and clashing with the Hand. Maybe even throw in Jubilee and a real version of Psylocke? Or the story with Mariko's death and Wolverine returning each year to cut another body part from her killer, Matsuo Tsurayaba.

Always loved that story note.
TelaVizion - 8/4/2013, 12:54 AM
Fox barely wants to give Marvel money after all these years (one of the reasons why they created their own studio), he shouldn't expect anything from them.
mgeoff88 - 8/4/2013, 1:51 AM
Great article! Nice insight into how one of Marvel's greatest characters was created.

Thank you, Mr. Wein, for creating Wolverine, which made my childhood more awesome.
BlindJustice - 8/4/2013, 2:12 AM
My wife and I accidentally met this guy at Dragon Con in Atlanta one year. The reason I say accidentally is we were in 'Artist Alley' and were moving along with the herd of people in front and behind us. I stepped over to the side so we could figure out where to go to next when suddenly my wife stated, "Hey, that guy has some old X-Men comics at his table.". I believe at the time he was there through DC and being acknowledged for his work on a Batman series. I looked over and there was Hulk Issue #180 with Wolverine's 1st appearance. I asked the guy how much and he said, "Ask him," then pointed at Len who wasn't paying attention. I happened to look down and see his name plate on the table and about fell to the floor right there. My wife, who didn't know who he was, asked him for me haha...in which I added with a laugh, "And could you sign it as well?" My wife looked then looked at me and asked, "Wait, who is he?" He laughed and replied, "I'm Wolverine's FATHER."

He's a really nice guy. I don't believe he sits around stressing what FOX isn't paying him...although it is ironic that a character he created named Fox has made him more than Wolverine.
FOOM - 8/4/2013, 2:28 AM
Canadian accent? Like Justin Beiber or Jim Carrey? Hey, they are pretty distinguishable from American accents aren't they? (Rolls eyes).
Greengo - 8/4/2013, 2:36 AM
Cool dude.

Bub.
SCURVYDOG619 - 8/4/2013, 3:50 AM
True story: At one time, the idea was kicked around that Wolverine would have been an ACTUAL wolverine evolved by the High Evolutionary.

Kyos - 8/4/2013, 4:24 AM
Nice article! :D
marvel72 - 8/4/2013, 5:16 AM
wolverine was great between the 70s-90s,he's a bit overused these days what with being on three teams at one stage.

best wolverine stories of recent times i'd say wolverine old man logan & of course uncanny x-force.
iamsohi - 8/4/2013, 5:35 AM
i cant wait for old man logan on the big screen ,that would be tits
FOOM - 8/4/2013, 5:57 AM
@TheLogan

I think you meant to say 'Jack Kirby'. The only character Stan Lee truly created was Stan Lee.
FOOM - 8/4/2013, 5:58 AM
@Firgosaurus

Add hockey and Rush to your Canadian list.
niknik - 8/4/2013, 6:45 AM
There were some great creators back in the bronze age. The books I grew up on from the late 60's to the early 80's had some of the best editors, writers, and artists in the business. I sure wish they would get these talented guys back in the fold at Marvel and publish some good books for a change instead of the disorganized, overhyped crap they are selling now.
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