Sure, any comic book fan worth his longboxes knows that Wolverine is the best there is at what he does -- but will his upcoming debut as a solo act in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" live up to the hype? Former 20th Century Fox exec (and comic book author) Jeff Katz, who returned from the set of "Wolverine" just a few months ago, certainly seems to think so, bub.
"I think it delivers -- so I’m not particularly worried about that," Katz told MTV, only to add exactly why he thinks Logan's upcoming solo debut will be his best story yet.
"I’m of the belief that you can boil down these characters to a couple of key words, phrases or images that sum up the tone and tenor of what they should be," explained Katz. "And to me and [Hugh] Jackman, our mantra for Wolverine has really been one term: 'bad-ass.' As long as Wolverine is consistently bad-ass, people are generally going to go with you. That’s what they want from that character."
"Iron Man comes out and it does a tremendous business, Batman comes out and it does a tremendous business, and the inclination in the movie biz a lot of the time is, 'Well, that thing just worked, so we have to chase that,'" continued Katz. "But as comics people know, Batman is not Iron Man is not Superman is not Wolverine -- they’re all different."
According to Katz, it's that grasp of comics and their characters that informed production of "Wolverine" from the start, and the exec -- who left Fox earlier this year for a project he'll announce any day now -- heaped praise upon Jackman for his appreciation of the ol' Canucklehead.
"Jackman is an actor who gets the character innately. He understands that he owes his career to that character," said Katz, who added that he's dead-serious about "Wolverine" showing a side of Logan that's considerably darker than anything we've seen in the "X-Men" films thus far.
"If you saw that Comic-Con trailer, that bit at the end where he tells [Schreiber] he’s going to cut his goddamn head off," said Katz, "that is very much Logan’s tone throughout the movie."
"At the end of the day, it’s a more personal 'X-Men' movie. It’s a darker X-Men movie," added Katz.
The former exec was quick to add that, while Jackman is certainly the star of the show, Logan will be joined by quite a few other fanboy-friendly characters who will vie for audience's attention -- characters who could live on outside of "Wolverine."
"The dynamic between Jackman and Liev Schreiber is excellent, and ultimately informs their arc together, but the fun of this movie is just to freshen it up and get some new faces, in terms of the characters you’re getting to play with -- and it does put a few of them in a position to be explored in other areas," teased Katz. "It nicely sets up a lot of the places for this version of the franchise to go."
As for exactly what that direction might be, Katz said his status as a former Fox exec limited his knowledge of the studio's plans for "Wolverine" and the "X-Men Origins" franchises -- but he certainly has some ideas about where Logan could be headed post-"Wolverine."
"I can’t speak to what’s been discussed in the interim since I’ve been gone, but Mr. Jackman certainly has a desire to go to Japan," said Katz. "As the single most beloved member of the X-Men universe, I have a hard time believing this is the last you’ll see of Wolverine."
Excited about "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"? Be sure to come back tomorrow for some thoughts on the film from Logan himself, Hugh Jackman! Until then, let us know what you think about Katz' assessment of the film and what you're taking from it!