Twentieth Century Fox has set May 1, 2009, for the release of the Hugh Jackman starrer X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which director Gavin Hood begins shooting later this year.

Variety reports that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is expected to feature many other mutants -- some new to the film franchise and some from one or more of the three X-Men films. Liev Schreiber is reportedly in final talks to take on the role of a younger version of nemesis William Stryker, played by Brian Cox in X2: X-Men United.

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This is the first time a title has been confirmed for the next chapter in the lucrative film franchise, based on the Marvel comic strip. Hood and screenwriter David Benioff wrote the script.

The film 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.