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.
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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"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)
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