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10 Essential Facts About 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'

10 Essential Facts About 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'
by Matt McDaniel    February 18th, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine You know the claws. You know the rage. And you know the sideburns. But there is a lot about Marvel Comics' mutant superhero Wolverine that you might not know. So here are ten facts you should know before you see "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," the upcoming prequel that sheds light on his mysterious past. And to see Hugh Jackman back in action, you can skip down to watch three exclusive TV spots from the movie.

1. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Wolverine wasn't in the original line-up of Marvel Comics' "X-Men" that was created by Stan Lee in the 1960s. He first appeared as an adversary to The Incredible Hulk, and was brought into the X-Men when the series was restarted in 1975.

2. Co-creator Len Wein's original idea was that the character was actually a wolverine cub that was mutated into human form. He also intended for Wolverine's signature claws to extend from his gloves, not from his body. But these ideas were dropped when new writer Chris Claremont took over the series.

3. Wolverine was originally a supporting character, with the focus of the X-Men stories mostly on team leader Cyclops. But he quickly became a fan favorite, and he got his own solo series in the '80s. Last year, Wizard Magazine ranked him at #1 in their "Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time" list.

4. Troye Sivan as Young Logan Logan's backstory was mostly kept hidden for the first 25 years of his existence. Finally in 2001, Marvel released the six-issue series "Origin" which told Logan's life story. Born in Canada in the 1800s, James Howlett discovered his mutant powers (and claws of bone that pop out of his hands) after a family tragedy. This story is the jumping off point for the new movie.

5. Russell Crowe was director Bryan Singer's first choice to play Wolverine in the first "X-Men" movie, but his asking price was too high. Scottish actor Dougray Scott was then cast, but he dropped out when filming went long on "Mission: Impossible 2." Hugh Jackman stepped into the role two weeks into filming, and at 6'2", he stands about a foot taller than how Wolverine is depicted in the comics.

6. Around 700 pairs of Wolverine claws were constructed for the original X-Men movie. They were made of metal for close-ups, plastic for longer shots, and rubber for stunts. Each pair were specially fitted for Jackman or the stuntman who wore them. The special effects crew also made a replica of Jackman's arm so that the claws could physically pop out without digital effects.

7. "X-Men: The Last Stand" was the final movie with the original lineup of characters, but more X-movies are in the works. "Wolverine" is intended to launch not only a series of solo movies for Jackman, but also the "Origins" franchise. Currently in the works is "Magneto," exploring the backstory of the villain. Also, "Gossip Girl" creator Josh Schwartz is writing "X-Men: First Class," about the teenage students of Professor X's school.

8. Taylor Kitsch as Gambit "Wolverine" introduces some new mutants that will be played by some fresh faces. One is long-time fan favorite, Gambit, a mutant who can energize objects into explosive weapons. He'll be played by Taylor Kitsch, star of TV's "Friday Night Lights." It's the biggest movie role yet from the Canadian hockey player-turned-actor, who previously appeared in "The Covenant" and "Snakes on a Plane."

9. TDaniel Henney as Agent Zero The new movie will also introduce audiences to Daniel Henney, an American-born actor who has become an enormous star in South Korea. He broke out in the TV drama, "My Name Is Kim Sam-Soon," a show so popular over half the country tuned in for the series finale. In "Wolverine" he plays Agent Zero, a government operative who is part of the Weapon X program that gives Logan his metallic skeleton.

10. Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth Some more familiar names popping up in the new movie include Liev Schreiber, who put on 40 pounds of muscle to play the menacing Sabretooth. Ryan Reynolds appears as Deadpool, a mutant mercenary who may get his own movie in the future. Dominic Monaghan plays Bolt, who manipulates energy, and has his acting debut as the teleporting Wraith. One face you know but won't recognize is Kevin Durand, who was the evil soldier Keamy on "Lost" last season. He is unrecognizable under piles of makeup as the immovable villain, The Blob (but you'll see him in flashbacks).

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" will kick off this year's summer movie season when it rides into theaters on May 1st. To get a peek at the story and action of the highly-anticipated movie, check out these three exclusive TV spots that debuted on FOX earlier this week.

Need to Know: 10 Facts About "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"
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