Gavin Hood Defends Tom Rothman on Wolverine Changes
One interesting story that has arisen in the aftermath of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine leak last week surrounds the power struggle between director Gavin Hood and Fox's CEO Tom Rothman. We first reported on this struggle in August of last year, saying that Rothman had literally walked on the set and changed certain elements to make the movie much less darker than before. Since then we haven't heard much about this, save for the supposed extensive re-shoots that took place earlier this year. However, Hood has now spoke out on Risky Business, claiming it wasn't as bad as everyone is making it out to be.
Here's the full excerpt from Hood's comments in response to his supposed struggle with Rothman.
"I am very fond of Tom [Rothman]. When he and I are in a room together and debating, he's a very forceful personality, I'm a fairly forceful personality, and I hope he and I, through our debates, which we didn't always agree… We certainly never yelled at each other. Some of these fan sites have really been upsetting in that way. I have never had a stand-up argument with Tom Rothman. Never, ever, and nor has Tom with me, ever, and that is a fact. And it's quite upsetting to see how these things sort of spiral into…"
"Did we discuss and debate, what stylistically I was going to bring to the movie, and his expectations, and my [expectations]? Of course, of course you do that, and I hope it makes the movie better. Nobody's trying to screw up the movie. I mean, there's this stupid notion out there that Tom Rothman wants to ruin the franchise. What? That's stupid… This is a huge thing for the studio. Of course he doesn't want to ruin the franchise. Is he going to put a gun to his own head? He has a huge amount riding on this movie, as do I. There were disagreements, but they were handled with dignity and sincerity…"
Now, the first thing anyone will say is that, considering Rothman is his employer, and considering Hood's reputation is on the line, of course he won't speak negatively about him and will do his best to smooth things over and hope for a great opening in May. However, maybe there's something more to this, and maybe it's not that they had a fight, but that, as he said, they both collaborated in order to improve the movie. I've been trying not to reference early reviews from the leaked version, but word is that it's not great, and someone has to be blamed. So is it Gavin Hood, is it writer David Benioff, or is it Tom Rothman?
I suppose in due time not only will we discover for ourselves whether or not X-Men Origins: Wolverine is actually a good movie, but find out who had more say in its direction. Way back before Gavin Hood had even started shooting, I was a huge supporter of him, because in early interviews, he seemed to completely understand the character. But at this point, I'm not sure it has anything to do with how well Hood understood the character, but instead, whether the story they formed was good enough to get audiences in theaters. Because for Rothman, it's all about money, not about whether it's a good movie in the end.