Five Things You May Have Missed While Watching ‘Wolverine’

Spoiler alert: That's not actually New Orleans, and this film isn't set in the present day.

BEVERLY HILLS, California — Over the weekend, you (and a couple million of your closest friends) finally had the opportunity to see [movie id="345540"]“X-Men Origins: Wolverine[/movie]” after nearly a half-decade of counting down to the much-anticipated spin-off. But did you really see the whole movie?

Much like Logan himself, some elements of “Origins” are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. With that in mind — and a big-time Spoiler Alert! hereby posted — we present these Five Things You May Have Missed While Watching “Wolverine.”

That ’70s Show

Although no one ever mentions it, and the cars and clothes are extremely subtle, “Origins” is set in the decade that gave us “The Partridge Family,” the Bee Gees and pet rocks. ‘When we first began we were definitely thinking about placing it [during the '70s], and that was a mistake,” explained [movieperson id="234610"]Hugh Jackman[/movieperson], remembering that as the film began, he and director Gavin Hood found themselves wanting to avoid any timestamps. ‘The X-Men movies were in the ‘not-too-distant future.’ So, what we were thinking about was the ‘not-too-distant past,’ and yet we still wanted to give it a timeless quality. If you look at our choices stylistically, there’s nothing in that movie that rings of now. It does actually … it could exist in the ’70s. But I didn’t want that distraction of flares and big hair and weird costumes and all that sort of thing. But maybe it makes sense with [Logan's] long sideburns.”

A Shocking Revelation

Although the word is never mentioned in the movie, “Lord of the Rings” veteran [movieperson id="259466"]Dominic Monaghan[/movieperson] is playing the mutant Bolt. Originally introduced in 1995, young Chris Bradley has lived to see far more adventures than Monaghan gets to enjoy in the movie. He also has a very special relationship with Agent Zero — who killed him in the comics — although the two barely speak in the film.

Working Hard Without The Big Easy

In a key sequence, Wolverine and John Wraith ([artist id="1521450"]Will.I.Am[/artist]) travel to New Orleans and drive down Bourbon Street to find Gambit ([movieperson id="448882"]Taylor Kitsch[/movieperson]); in reality, however, the film was shot in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. “I wish [we'd shot there] but no,” explained Kitsch, who has never actually been to New Orleans. “I got the role, and suddenly I’m in Australia with a deck of cards — so you’ve got to take advantage of what you get,” grinned the actor. Without the crucial location to draw from, Kitsch remembered, he created his Gambit using a different technique. “I’d listen to a ton of John Lee Hooker,” he laughed.

Hugh Jacked-Man

To play the hulked-out hero, Jackman underwent a Berzerker workout regimen. He upped his protein and caloric intake, eating every three hours and even setting his alarm clock while he slept; he lifted 20 percent heavier weights than usual, beginning every morning at 6 a.m. No slouch himself, an inspired Liev Schreiber gained 40 pounds of muscle to play Sabretooth.

Were There Other Origins?

Although the reason behind James Howlett’s nickname “Logan”and the expanded story of his mysterious father situation are never explained, Jackman said that both were among the scenes that were originally considered. “We never shot them, but we talked about them,” he explained. “I thought we did a really good job at the beginning establishing — but without too much detail — what it would have been like for the kid, that there was a ruckus. As an adult, you can go and investigate it and find out more things. But really, what was more important was, ‘What was the event that made a timid kid into this feral, claws-coming-out-of-his hands animal?’ ”

Check out everything we’ve got on “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

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