Over the weekend, [movie id="345540"]"X-Men Origins: Wolverine"[/movie] sliced its way through piracy leaks, bad reviews, swine flu and other obstacles to grab nearly $90 million at the box office. Now a sequel is all but guaranteed.
At the film's premiere last week, we asked [movieperson id="234610"]Jackman[/movieperson] — using a scale of 1 to 10 — to guess the likelihood of Wolverine returning. "10 is you'll never see him again?" he repeated. "Then a 2. I'd like to do it. I love the character. A lot will depend on what happens this weekend. We'll see if people want to see the story."
As the box-office results poured in, a one-word answer to Jackman's question emerged: "Duh!" Now, the new question is which of several possible sequels we'll see next:
"X-Men: First Class": One of the most tantalizing scenes in "Origins" depicts dozens of young mutants, including Cyclops, fleeing William Stryker and encountering Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) for the first time. "Class" would focus on him, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and others as they depict the early days of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. The current front-runner for the next "X-Men" film out of the gate, we already know that Gambit won't be in it — but will Wolverine make an appearance? "I don't know. You're asking good questions, you've done your research," Jackman said with a grin when we pressed him. "I've got nothing to do with that movie. They don't need me as a producer. I haven't even read the script, but we'll see."
"X-Men Origins: Magneto": Years ago, news of the "Wolverine" and "Magneto" spin-offs broke at the same time and were nearly always mentioned together. Writer/director David Goyer said recently that the future of the magnetized villain would be contingent on the success of "Wolverine" — and now, it seems, a spin-off focusing on young Eric Lensherr and Charles Xavier could be full-steam ahead.
"X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2": Yep, you can safely bet it won't be called that. But Jackman's already got the ball rolling on a sequel with an amnesia-ridden Logan searching for himself in Japan. "Look, I won't lie to you — I've been talking to writers," the star/producer told us. "I'm a big fan of the Japanese saga [as seen] in the comic book ... I love the idea of this anarchic character — the outsider — being in this world. I can see it aesthetically, too, full of honor and tradition and customs, and someone who's really anti all of that, trying to negotiate his way."
"Untitled Gambit Movie": After a decade of waiting, "X-Men" fans finally got to see Gambit on the big screen this past weekend. Now the card-carrying mutant is one of two breakout "Origins" characters who might get his own film, and actor Taylor Kitsch wants to shoot it on location in the Big Easy. "If we were to do Gambit on his own ... I'd go to New Orleans, man, and just shoot in there, because that's another character in the movie on its own," he explained to us recently, saying he imagines a darker tale that could bring Anna Paquin back from the original films to explore the comic's romantic story line with her character. "She's such a great actor. I'd love to work with her, and that would be cool to see Gambit and Rogue."
"Untitled Deadpool Movie": Like Kitsch, Ryan Reynolds signed on to "Origins" with hopes of a spin-off, and the series' producer has already expressed hope that "X-Men" and "X2" director Bryan Singer will return for one of them. "I don't know if it would be an origin story, but it would definitely have to be something that encompasses the past, present and future of Deadpool," explained Reynolds, who would like to introduce the character's super-strong, machine-aided partner, Cable, as well. "I'm thinking musical; a rated-R musical. It hasn't been done. Deadpool singing, dancing — maybe dancing girls."
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