You've got your advance tickets, popcorn money and the most comfortable sneakers for the long line in the theater lobby. But are you really ready to see "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"?

MTV has been all over this film like blue on Mystique, dating all the way back to 2006. And so, we present this handy cheat sheet for all things "Wolverine," designed to enlighten newcomers and nerds alike.

The Origins of "Origins"

Ever since "X3" director Brett Ratner revealed to us in February 2006 that the "X-Men" movies were finished, rumors began swirling that the world's most famous mutant may receive his own spinoff. Later that year, Hugh Jackman told us that the script was ready and once director Gavin Hood was hired, he gave us the scoop on his big plans. As Jackman recently remembered, those early days for the writer/producer were exciting, but fraught with concerns.

"X-Men" stars including Rebecca Romijn and Vinnie Jones told us that the series seemed to be moving on without them. In August 2007, Ryan Reynolds revealed to us that he wanted to play Deadpool — six months later, "Origins" cameras began rolling.

The Secrets

Did you know that Channing Tatum nearly played Gambit, Wolverine likes to karaoke with Robert Pattinson, or that Jackman found inspiration in "The Dark Knight"?

We learned all this and more while tracking Wolverine and Stan Lee to Comic-Con, looking for spoilers at the Toy Fair, explaining who's who is the trailers, and finally getting the lowdown on the top-secret endings that will make you want to stay in your seat after the end credits.

When the whole world was wondering who the bald mutant in the trailer was, an enthusiastic Ryan Reynolds revealed to us that it was indeed him.

The Scandals

At times, it seems like Wolverine could have faced fewer threats hanging out at Magneto's headquarters. First, Hood had some disagreements with the studio. Then, "Origins" earned the unpleasant distinction of becoming the most high-profile film to ever be leaked on the Internet, which hit Jackman hard. As if all that wasn't enough, the dreaded swine flu canceled the film's Mexico City premiere.

The Stars

Sure, it's Wolverine's name in the title. But the fun of going to the film this weekend is seeing all the supporting mutants, including the youngsters Kevin Durand as the Blob, Dominic Monaghan as Bolt, Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth and the beautiful Lynn Collins as Kayla Silverfox. Will.i.am landed the role of teleporter John Wraith — a gig he was eager to toot-a-toot-toot his own horn about.

Don't be surprised, however, if you fall in love with two particularly badass breakout characters: Ryan Reynolds got his wish to play "Deadpool," a character fans have loved for quite some time. And speaking of fan favorites, Gambit is finally up on the big screen. Still not sure you know everything about Logan's team of mutants? Then you'll want to read about five comics that can help prepare you for the film, as well as our detailed character profiles, bub.

The Spectacle

In an unprecedented move, Hugh Jackman teamed with the studio to devise a contest that would award the "Origins" world premiere to the city with the most die-hard "X-Men" fans. After a passionate battle, Tempe won, and we were there to watch an ecstatic Jackman ride in on his motorcycle.

The Strange

Sure, fighting evil military scientists and enormous mutants is serious business. But that doesn't mean that the long road to "Wolverine" didn't take some strange turns.

Remember the time Hugh Jackman nearly cut off his hand while ziplining from a helicopter? Or the time Wolverine did battle with Rorshach from "Watchmen"? Basketball star Charles Barkley revealed himself as a Wolverine fan, we explored the finer points of Logan's indestructible pants, got a glimpse of what he looked like in France, and even took time out for a Wolverine pizza break. But really, could anything compare with Hugh Jackman's Oscar tribute to comic book movies?

The Visions

Over the last many months, we've been there to bring you dozens of cool photos, the first and second trailers, and even freeze-frames to help figure out what was going on in all that fast-moving carnage. We raised key questions before the trailers premiered and then dissected them shot-by-shot with such a level of geekitude that we may have earned honorary pocket-protectors.

The Future

After you see "Origins" you may leave the theater asking yourself: Where does it all go from here? Well, we're one step ahead of those creepy voices in your head. Hugh Jackman has told us that he's likely to be Wolverine again, whether it's in the "Avengers" movie, "X-Men: First Class," or the character's own proper spinoff sequel. Jackman confirmed to us that he's already hired a writer, that he wants the next film to be set in Japan, and we reciprocated by offering the top five villains we want to see Logan stabbing his claws into.

In other sequel news, Taylor Kitsch wants to take Gambit back to his Thieves Guild days, which is a good idea since he definitely won't be in "First Class." Meanwhile, Ryan Reynolds started talking Deadpool sequel possibilities with us last December, the creator of the character says the movie seems likely, and Reynolds wants Cable to be in the flick.

Check out everything we've got on "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

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