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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Can "Wolverine 2" Save the X-Men?

I'm not sure why I keep holding out hope for the X-Men franchise. If Bryan Singer's approachable vision of people with extraordinary gifts wasn't destroyed in "X-Men: The Last Stand," then it was finished off in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." But yet, Fox is throwing us a glimmer of hope! Oh what could it be? Tom Rothman's resignation? Sorry. That's just false hope.

Oscar winning scribe Christopher McQuarrie is selected to adapt the Japanese saga of Wolverine's life. McQuarrie was an uncredited writer of the first "X-Men" which was mostly the work of David Hayter. So the good news is he knows how to write the characters properly.

But what oh what can become of a script, or film, when Tom Rothman is looking over the staff's shoulder? The first "Wolverine" looked promising, but left nothing notable outside its pretty looking trailer. Besides, we've seen Oscar caliber talent fail at franchise material before. (I'm looking at you John Logan. "Gladiator" was great, but "Star Trek: Nemesis" needed some work.)

Okay, so we have a credible writer with some experience in the franchise. That's good. What else? Brace yourself for a long reach. Bryan Singer, director of "X-Men" and "X2: X-Men United," has expressed some interest in returning to the franchise. Seeing as he and McQuarrie have worked before ("X-Men," "The Usual Suspects") would it be out of bounds to hope Singer could return? Furthermore, can Fox bury the hatchet with Singer?

He left years ago to direct "Superman Returns" for Warner Brothers, leaving Fox high and dry with the unfinished X-Men franchise. There were some unprofessional grumblings that Singer's future with Fox was over, but is that really true? Can Fox reel back in the man who birthed them the cash cow? Are they willing?

If all of these pieces were to come together I could see a very promising continuation of the X-Men franchise. Until then fingers remain crossed.

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