What do the all the major wars from the last 150 years, the director of the Academy Award-winning film Tsotsi and the Sexiest Man (and Oscar host) Alive have in common? If you guessed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, you got it! The trailer for the summer’s first big action spectacle, which premiered in front of The Day the Earth Stood Still over the weekend, is now available for the whole world to see over at the film’s MySpace page and it’s… well, not as good as we would have hoped.
The pedigree here is almost too much to believe. Gavin Hood, the aforementioned director of Tsotsi and last fall’s torture dud Rendition, here is working from a script by David Benioff, who has penned films ranging from great (The 25th Hour) to crap (Troy). Like Mr. Benioff’s filmography, X-Men Origins: Wolverine looks like a total mixed bag: a better version of The Incredible Hulk (but with similarly bad special effects) combined with parts of First Blood and Bryan Singer’s original X-Men film.
As the lead, Hugh Jackman is comically jacked. The Oscar host spends most of the trailer without a shirt on and his muscles appear to have muscles themselves. Still, he also looks like he’s sleep walking through some of this, buried in an avalanche of iffy green screen work and animalistic sneering. If anything can save Wolverine from being a stinker, it will most certainly be the supporting cast, which is filled with a cavalcade of awesomeness. There’s the always-outstanding Danny Huston, as General Stryker, the man who made Wolverine into the mutant anti-hero that we know and love. Mr. Huston, now sounding more like his father John than ever before, has been one of our favorite “that guy” actors for the past few years so it’s nice to see him in the “Jeff Bridges” role from Iron Man. As Sabretooth, Wolverine’s half-brother and rival, Tony winner and new father Liev Schreiber doesn’t seem like he’s any match for Mr. Jackman from a physical standpoint, but at least his muttonchops look appropriately hirsute and menacing. And as if these guys weren’t enough, Ryan Reynolds shows up as Deadpool (if things go well at the box office for Wolverine, he may well be getting his own spin-off movie in the near future, too.)
And… for those of you who love television, Lost‘s Dominic Monaghan and Friday Night Lights’ Taylor Kitsch are along for the ride too. However Mr. Kitsch seems like a poor choice to play the Cajun mutant Gambit; obviously Mr. Monaghan’s former co-star Josh Holloway would have been a more natural fit. Must we cast everything ourselves?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits theaters on May 1st, 2009.