Cue the chorus of claw jokes, everyone: Variety reports that 20th Century Fox has settled on May 1, 2009 for the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
The much-anticipated X-Men prequel, which finds Gavin Hood directing Hugh Jackman in his return to the role of the cigar-chomping costumed superhero, will give fans a peek at Wolverine’s backstory. From the article:
There’s been much speculation about the spinoff, which gained speed when the studio finalized deals with Jackman (who reprises the role he played in the three “X-Men” pics), Hood and scribe David Benioff, who penned the script.
Pic explores the claw-wielding character Wolverine’s violent and romantic past, and his complex relationship with Victor Creed and the ominous Weapon X program, as well as his encounters with other mutants.
Hood will start shooting in Australia before moving to New Zealand and, later, to New Orleans. Latter location is a clue that the storyline might include New Orleans-based character Gambit, who is able to make objects explode and was a professional thief before joining the X-Men.
One character seemingly certain to make an appearance is William Stryker, the Army colonel with a vendetta against the X-Men. According to Variety‘s report, Liev Schreiber is “reportedly in final talks” to play Stryker.
As the article points out, Wolverine‘s 5/1/09 debut adds to an already-busy summer for 20th Century Fox — the studio will go on to release James Cameron‘s Avatar on May 22, followed by Ice Age 3 on July 1.