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Laura Shuler Donner on the Future of the X-Men Franchise

Producer Lauren Shuler Donner spoke with Empire about the future of several of the X-Men franchise films, including ‘Wolverine 2′, ‘Magneto’, ‘Deadpool’ and X-Men: First Class.  Here are a few excerpts, beginning with thoughts on ‘Wolverine 2′, which is furthest along:

“That’s the furthest along of all the X-Men projects on the boil. It’s actually the story we wanted to use for the first Wolverine film, but [Fox head honcho] Tom Rothman preferred to set the character up with an origin story first. This movie will really focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. We’re very fortunate to have a story mostly outlined for us [from the comic book arc co-written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller]. And we wanted an A+ writer, so we want to Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie, The Usual Suspects). He came in and has tightened the story and got really immersed in the whole thing – he’s in Japan in his head!”

Head on over the jump for more.

X-Men First Class

“Harry Potter is a bit of a role model for us, absolutely. But we want it to be like the recent, darker Potters. It should not be a kiddie movie – we’re in the X-Men world so you can’t suddenly change the tone. The First Class comics are really fun – they’re funnier than any other comics I’ve read.”

“Right now the script is not done -we’re not where we want to be yet. We have to be careful that we don’t tread on familiar territory, that people don’t say, “Oh, I’ve seen that, been there.” But (screenwriter) Josh Schwartz has a great young pulse and he’s doing an amazing job bringing the characters to life. We want to make this a franchise, following these kids at the school, so the casting of the child actors will be all-important.”

X-Men Origins: Deadpool

“I want to ignore the version of Deadpool that we saw in Wolverine and just start over again. Reboot it. Because this guy talks, obviously, and to muzzle him would be insane.I don’t see it as a problem that Ryan [Reynolds] is also playing Green Lantern.

It’s going to be a dark, snarky, very funny movie. It’s the hardest story to tell, I think. There’s no clear cut villain – though you do have great baddies from the comic-books like Black Tom, Slayback, Blind Al and the Weasel. Blind Al is this blind woman in his house, who he abuses and mocks… it’s terrible. But you find out that she was a convict who did something terrible and he saved her from execution. So he lets her live in his house and she looks after him, but they both torture each other. Anyway, there are good stories and we’re figuring out which ones to incorporate.

Meanwhile,Donner says that ‘Magneto’ is the least likely film to be made:

“David Goyer has written a brilliant script. It starts in the concentration camps and has Magneto coming out of there. But you know, I’m not sure that film is going to be made. The studio has a wealth of potential stories, and they have to stand back and decide which ones to make. And Magneto, I think, is at the back of the queue. Maybe it’ll get made in five years – who knows? I can tell you that Ian McKellen won’t be playing the character the whole way through.

Source: Empire

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