A little-known fact about the production of the cinematic X-Men movies is that Bryan Singer who was the driving force behind it all wouldn’t allow comic books to be on the set. Singer wanted to avoid the films feeling like live-action comic book and felt so strongly about going this route that he banned the medium from being on set at all!
As Hugh Jackman tells it:
“B the way, comic books were banned on the set because Bryan Singer had this thing that people would think…he really wanted to take comic book characters seriously as real 3-Dimensional characters. ‘People who don’t understand these comics might think they’re two dimensional,’ so no one was allowed, everyone…it was like contraband. I never read X-Men, so people just slipped under my door, I’m having to look, I’m reading these things. I’m looking, and these are brilliant because look at the physicality.”
To get familiar with the now-iconic character, Jackman had to read comics on the sly. Thankfully, the actor had a source that took care of his wants in private. That source was a producer on the film whose name you might recognize – Kevin Feige. Yes, the man who would one day be the head of Marvel Studios helped get Jackman not only into character but into comics as well!
“So I would go into Kevin Feige’s office, and it was wall to wall, not only comics over the posters but about 600 figurines of different characters, and I’d be like ‘what should I read?” He’d say “You gotta read this one, and you gotta read the Japan. You gotta read the Origins, and so he was slipping me stuff, and we’ve stayed friends ever since, and nothing makes me happier to know that someone who is purely creative, purely a lover of the legacy of those comic books is this successful.”
While Jackman has not only learned from the comics but defined Wolverine’s personality to audiences across the globe, it was from comics being slipped to him on the side by Kevin Feige that helped make it all possible.
Are you thrilled that Feige had such a subtle impact on the X-Men franchise and helped Hugh Jackman define Wolverine? Was Bryan Singer’s choice of banning comics from his set the right way to go and necessary on making his stories feel more lifelike? Share your thoughts in the comments below, True Believers!