Hugh Jackman believes that Australia needs to support local talent, and he has put his actions behind his words when he picked Melbourne native Kodi Smit-McPhee to play the younger version of the title character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Speaking to Australia's Herald Sun at 2020 Summit, Jackman explained a bit about the pressures of making the follow-up to the X-Men trilogy.
"I'm used to these movies now,'' Jackman says. ''They're big and there's a lot involved, a lot at stake, so it's always high pressure. But Gavin Hood, our director, is a real force. He's an Oscar-winning director and he's used to working under different kinds of pressure and stresses." But while Jackman is used to the pressures of playing Marvel's most famous mutant, he discusses the pressure that is on Smit-McPhee, who Jackman hand-picked to play his younger counterpart."He's one of those kids who's fearless,'' Jackman says. ''I hope he doesn't read this article because yes, there is pressure on him because of who he's playing and the expectations of fans. I was lucky to be completely ignorant of fans' expectations and the whole world before X-Men came out. I just hope he doesn't read too much or go on the internet because he naturally has the goods I know the fans will love."
Jackman also showed his clout, and his commitment to his native county when he arranged for X-Men Origins: Wolverine to be shot in Sydney. "As the Baz (Luhrmann) movie went a little longer, as producer I needed to be around for pre-production," he says. "I couldn't just sit around and let that all go. Also, it was a strong choice because of my family situation and schooling and the kids. Our son's almost eight, so the gypsy lifestyle isn't as convenient as it used to be."
X-Men Origins: Wolverine explores Wolverine's early days, before joining the X-Men. The film will cover Logan's early life, and his involvement with the mysterious Weapon X program. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Dominic Monaghan, Danny Huston, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, will.i.am, Daniel Henney, Scott Adkins and Lynn Collins. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is due to arrive in theatres in 2009.