While promoting his new movie ‘The Strangers’ at the Toronto Film Festival, Hugh Jackman reminisced about a crossover that would have irreversibly changed the face of super hero movies. “In the first “Spider-Man” — Kevin Feige reminded me of this — we really tried to get me to come on and do something, whether it was a gag or just to walk through the shot or something,” he recalls.
Yes, six years before Nick Fury popped up post-credits in the first ‘Iron Man’, Wolverine was hoped to cross over from Fox’s ‘X-Men’ franchise into Sony’s first ‘Spider-Man’ entry. Unlike Fury’s cameo, the crossover between studios could have changed precedence forever. Nowadays, it’s a given that the heroes distributed between different studios will never face each other. (For the record, the Fantastic Four and related characters like the Silver Surfer are also owned by Fox. And certain characters are bundled with others, for instance all mutants go to Fox. Anyone left over belongs to Marvel/Disney.)
And the reason why the cameo didn’t happen had nothing to do with studio propriety. “The problem was, we couldn’t find the suit. The suit was stuck in some thing. And so when they were in New York when I was there, we couldn’t get it together,” Jackman explained. If this was just a background cameo, you’re telling me that the ‘Spider-Man’ costume squad who cobbled together Tobey Maguire’s intricate Spider-Suit and Green Goblin’s armor couldn’t scrape up a pair of jeans and a tank top? Hmmm…
A couple of months ago, Jackman mused as to why the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Avengers and others couldn’t appear in one movie together. Perhaps if this original cameo had happened, things might be different, but nowadays licensing fees play the largest part in obstructing such match ups. Jackman explained, “So, you know, I actually asked some high level people about it. Because the optimist in me goes, “Why not? Why can’t we do it? You know, a split cast or whatever?” And someone reminded that the amount of money Fox paid compared to the amount of money Disney paid is very different [laughs]. So how do you split that pie up? God knows. But in the comic books, what’s great about it is they’re just mashing together all the time — and it’s awesome. And people are like, “Yeah, well, let’s get this one with that!” And, you know, I still think, one day, there may be an ability to do it.”
Of course there is! Sony and Fox just need to stop making super hero movies and let the rights revert back to Marvel! ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ was put together hastily to prevent this from happening. And ‘The Wolverine’ took in $129 million. So… that’s probably not going to happen. At least not for a while.
So I guess in the meantime, fans will have to be happy with this, from the ‘X-Men’ DVD bonus features: