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.

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.

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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.