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Director Gavin Hood on X-Men Origins: Wolverine: 'If I could do a do-over, I would'

Tom Beasley
Contributor

Director Gavin Hood says he’d love the chance for a “do-over” on his widely maligned superhero film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

The 2009 story about the roots of Hugh Jackman’s blade-fingered antihero was savaged by critics on its release and is notorious among fans, to the point that one of its most unpopular sequences was disrupted in a post-credits scene of Deadpool 2.

A decade on, Hood has now turned his attention to political thrillers including Eye in the Sky and this week’s Iraq War whistleblower tale Official Secrets.

Read more: Ranking all of the X-Men movies

But the 56-year-old director still counts his work on X-Men as a worthwhile experience in his evolution as a filmmaker.

“I learned a lot doing that film,” Hood tells Yahoo Movies UK in an interview to promote Official Secrets. “I was a young director for hire. I'm much more comfortable when I'm writing scripts myself.”

Gavin Hood directed 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' in 2009. (Credit: Fox/Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

He adds: “I came from an independent film world. I was used to being the captain of my own ship when I made Tsotsi and even Rendition, which was my first studio movie.

“When I arrived on the set of X-Men Origins, there was a writer's strike at the time. We didn't have a completed script. I went off to Australia to start filming and pages were changing while we were shooting.”

Read more: Jackman was almost fired from Wolverine role

Hood says that the film was a “tough experience”, but describes lead Hugh Jackman as a “lovely man”.

He says: “If I could do a do-over, I would. I hope that these films like Eye in the Sky and Official Secrets give me some redemption from those who didn't like that particular film — and one keeps learning.”

Keira Knightley plays GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun in political thriller 'Official Secrets'. (Credit: eOne/Nick Wall)

The response to X-Men Origins: Wolverine scuppered any plans for future movies exploring the backstories of various mutants, but Wolverine returned for two more solo outings in The Wolverine and Logan — both directed by James Mangold.

Hood, meanwhile, returned to blockbusters with 2013’s Ender’s Game before moving into the political thriller arena.

Read more: Joe Russo says Wolverine would’ve survived The Snap

His latest, Official Secrets, stars Keira Knightley as real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun, who exposed US/UK plans to pressurise members of the United Nations Security Council to vote for the Iraq War.

The supporting cast includes Matt Smith, Conleth Hill, Matthew Goode and Ralph Fiennes.

Official Secrets is released in UK cinemas on 18 October.