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When an Aussie unknown named Hugh Jackman was cast as Wolverine back in the late ’90s, it was doubtful that anyone would’ve predicted he’d still be playing the nearly ageless mutant a decade and a half later. For that matter, some would not likely have guessed that the X-Men franchise itself would last this long. But seven films later, both the series and its star are still going strong.

Which isn’t to say there haven’t been some changes. Fox’s X-Men universe has expanded over the years to include more heroes, more villains, and more versions of already established characters. One of the most exciting additions in the new X-Men: Days of Future Past is Peter Dinklage‘s Bolivar Trask, a scientist obsessed with mutants — and the threat they pose to humanity.

At a recent X-Men: Days of Future Past junket in New York City, I took the opportunity to sit down with Jackman, the series’ longest-running hero, and Dinklage, its newest villain — as well as Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker, the producers who’ve made it all happen. Watch the video interviews after the jump.

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X-Men Apocalypse Wolverine 3 Back-to-Back

Wolverine is at the center of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and we know there will be a third solo Wolverine film. But with Hugh Jackman aging just like everyone else, doing that hardcore Wolverine workout isn’t getting any easier. Getting in shape to play the character is serious work, and isn’t something Jackman can do forever.

So one solution seems obvious, especially if the character will factor in to both X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016, and Wolverine 3 in 2017. Shoot the movies back to back, so Jackman can get in shape once, hold it for the duration of the two films, and then relax a bit. That’s what Jackman and the producers want to do; now we’ll see if it can happen. Read More »

The Wolverine

On November 1st 2012, I visited the set of The Wolverine in Sydney, Australia. To give you an idea of the timeline of my visit, Hurricane Sandy had just wreaked havoc in New York, and I woke up early one morning from the constant noises coming from my computer because I was getting so many notices of the breaking news that Disney had purchased LucasFilm and was making more Star Wars movies.

It is five in the morning and I’m standing in a street lined with Japanese houses covered with snow. The elaborate set was  built in a huge parking lot that was built for the 2000 Olympic games. Flakes of snow fall as ninjas run and ride motorcycles along the rooftops. Hugh Jackman is hanging off the top of a snow plow as it barrels down the street, away from a crowd of masked ninjas. Jackman, employing safety harnesses, flips to his feet on top of the snowplow and “activates” his claws. The second unit director calls “cut”, and Hugh notices our little grouping of press off in the corner and yells out “So you guys a pulling an all nighter? Why don’t you put some ninja suits on and get in the action?”

After the jump you will find a compilation of interesting facts I learned while visiting the set.

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