Gavin Hood Defends Tom Rothman on Wolverine Changes

April 5, 2009
Source: Risky Business

Gavin Hood

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.

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Good, bad, at least it isn't X-Men 3.

Cody on Apr 5, 2009


I have no faith in this movie at this point. And it saddens me, being an X-Men fan (along with a Deadpool fan). But from what I've seen and heard, it looks and sounds like they don't really care about story or character. FOX just wants to make some money, which is very sad. Both for them and for us.

Josh M on Apr 5, 2009


The problem with the X-Men franchise is that Mr. Rothman has been determined to reach the absolute widest possible audience, from ages 5 to 95. The problem with doing that is, you are now eliminating many of that hardcore fan base in wanting to see it multiple times in theatres (which is where you have these massive blockbusters generating serious dough). Wolverine is going to make money, and everyone will be happy, financially speaking. But it will be forgettable, just like X3. It will blend in with the rest of the series, and you won't hear it breaking any records. It's too bad too, because they had so much GOOD, SOLID material to work with. But that's what happens when greed gets in the way. Money corrupts all, even good storytelling. As a side note, those who are actually interested in a true Wolverine story, I suggest you read the Weapon X graphic novel by Barry Windsor-Smith. And if you want to fix X3, read The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont/John Byrne/Terry Austin... just imho of course.

Billy Bob the Boob on Apr 5, 2009


It's not about the money. It's not about the fans. It's not about Wolverine. It's about FOX. They suck. They ONLY hire republicans. They are rightwing idealogues. They have no judgement. They are the problem. Until they fall because of their own hubris, we'll get crap movies. Conservatives cannot govern, nor can they run companies.

Twinkle Toes on Apr 5, 2009


Many of the reviews from the "leaked" copies have said that it wasn't that great, but it could have also been due that it was a rough cut and most of the effects and all were not all in place yet.

Ryan on Apr 5, 2009


All i know is that the leaked print is bad. Like reallllly bad. One of the worst super hero movies ever, right up there with ghost rider and Fantastic Four silver surfer.

Darunia on Apr 5, 2009


more and more I'm seeing more of an upset for this movie.

Nick Sears on Apr 5, 2009


And it has nothing to do with a couple of special effects missing, or a scene or two, it's the story, the characters, they all suck. And Deadpool is soooo ruined you don't even begin to imagine it.

Darunia on Apr 5, 2009


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. No, you just took it up the ass. You let them change it because they (Fox) needs all the money they can get their hands on. Thanks for that.

Daniel on Apr 5, 2009


I don't know. I believe Gavin Hood is telling the truth. Simply because he's a shit director. I mean, the dude makes Rendition, which was garbage, and then Fox gives him a 130 million dollar budget to make a Wolverine movie? How does that work? What kind of weird reward is that? And when you see the movie, you'll understand how bad he is as a director.

Darunia on Apr 5, 2009


4-way to bring politics into this situation when it really does belong here you pinko liberal d-bag

jh on Apr 5, 2009


@4 You are a complete idiot. Politics has nothing to do with this movie AND they dont hire just Republicans, that is against the law. Also, this is Fox the movie company not their news affiliate. If you were not such a judgmental moron, you would see the stupidity of what you say.

Johnny Crow on Apr 5, 2009


David Benioff is certainly not the one to blame, his draft of the script, which they changed drastically for the film, while not amazing, would have made a very good movie. The core stuff they kept the same, Benioff's started with Wolverine already out of the team, with Silver Fox, the sabretooth stuff was essentially the same, wolverine fights him, fails, gets adamantium, tracks him down etc. But the finished film has been elaborated on, adding deadpool, gambit, the war stuff, the stuff with the team, blob was in Benioff's script, but with a different role, as was John Wraith. The stuff with Wolverine/sabretooth/silver fox was more or less the same, as was the very ending on how wolvie loses his memory. But the addition of deadpool and gambit changed things rather dramatically in the 3rd act, also, cyclops was nowhere in Benioff's script. I like/liked a lot of the additions they made, but if they were executed poorly, they certainly didn't help the film, Benioff's script would have worked fine...

Chris G. on Apr 5, 2009


I will not judge this flick based on speculation and hearsay! I'm with Gavin Hood on this one--and who best to believe than the director. I understand the incessant backlash that Fox has been getting. I also get that the flick was merely complete and while reviewing a rough cut isn't the best of ideas, I certainly love the trailers and have the utmost faith in this flick. I'll be there opening night!!! 🙂

Spider on Apr 5, 2009


What did I say! Fox is just determined to ruin their own films. Wolverine was a wreck of a film which even contradicts the continuity from the Singer established X-Men world. The film also runs at 106 minutes (no surprise there, Fox loves to have shorter running times to get more screenings into theaters). The condensed plot/character development makes for a shallow film with cardboard characters doing certain things with little to no motive at all. Fox needs to get there act together, because in terms of quality, Fox is really failing in a horrendous way. If both this film and Avatar bombs I hope that creates in effect causes management firing within the head's of 20th Century Fox by cleansing the studio from the "Rothman disease" that has plagued the studio for a while now.

Craig on Apr 5, 2009


I watched the work print, and from what I could tell the base of the movie was pretty good but it has some really bad rewrites from the original story lines. The thing I don't understand is if you are making a movie about something that exists and has a story line how come you just can't make a good movie with that information? Instead they take the characters and twist them with their own creative licensing it's just stupid sometimes. They should just rename the movie to be something else so people would not be as upset because it doesn't seem like xmen to me.

Niles W on Apr 5, 2009


Every damn movie based on an intellectual property(with a few exceptions: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Iron Man, Superman Returns, TDK) seems to stray significantly from the source material! Why the hell is this? Isn't it the main goal for these movies to get them right? Then FOX butchers the hell out of theirs! To top that: an idiot critic for Fox critiques the unfinished cut of X-Men: Wolverine!(Welcome to the unemployment line 'dumbass'! I just don't get some peeps' logic. Having said that, some peeps need to just chill. It's X-Men Origins! It means that this takes place before the actual X-Men trilogy! Let's get with it!!

Blue Silver on Apr 5, 2009


Blue Silver I agree with everything you say but: "Its X-Men Origins! It means that this takes place before the actual X-Men trilogy! Lets get with it!!" Yes and thats the problem. This origins film completely ignores that the initial X-Men series already established by adding their own creative changes (that guides this film into a horrible direction). In the Singer X-Men series (Origins is supposed to be a prequel) they establish that Wolverine was made as in the intentions of making the "perfect weapon" but in Origins it just reduces him to being a lab rat to make the most distasteful interpretation of Deadpool. Another aspect Origins chooses to discard is the fact that both in the comics and the Singer movie series, Scott Summers (Cyclops) has the power to emit beams of energy from his eyes. Although the beams have the appearance of red light, they do not heat objects but instead deliver tremendous concussive force. In Origins though they demonstrate them as burning through object not merely knocking them with concussive force.

Craig on Apr 5, 2009


I gotta say, I was and still am looking forward to this. Number 4, keep your liberal bullllshit out of movie talk, it made no sense and makes you look like a total bitch tits.

midnightlight on Apr 5, 2009


Tom Rothman sucks ! Whose idea was it to screw up character like Deadpool .

mflauri on Apr 5, 2009


Y'all trippin!!! I seen the ruff cut and the film was very very good infact it was better than all 3 X-Men! Now before the haters come out to play to & try to debunk me let me also add that before this movie I hated Wolverine in every X-Men film he was so soft and always got his ass kicked. If your a fan of Wolverine I believe that you will love this movie especially when all the effects are done. Don't listen to the critics X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not only a perfect title but an awesome film. PS. X-Men 2 was the best of the 3.

Black Dynomite on Apr 5, 2009


a few problems with the movie that i've notice according 2 the draft i saw online: 1. it's not explained what the different between logan & victor (power & mental) something that will be essential 2 the plot later on 2. you can't sum all the wars in 5 min with the opening titles that just wrong, 2 me at least 3. i didn't saw logan uses his healing powers not even once he's like superman thru out the movie and didn't got hurt not even once 4. you don't see wolverine animalistic side in him in this one. he only kills 2 people in the movie. (my guess is the movie gonna be pg-13) 5. gambit was fun 2 see but that's all he was just fun 2 see (and his powers was just ridiculously stupid in the movie) 6. wade wilson was funny in the 3 min he was on screen but no men on EARTH can stop bullets with swords that was f****** ridiculous. is he a mutant cuz i didn't hear or saw evidence for that in the movie . 7. agent zero can fly and watching him shoot it's like someone press the FF button on the f****** remote control 8. WILL.I.AM i love his...... music but in his debut on screen he was over his head with this one and he have a long screen time compared to the other supporting cast 9. the END was just f****** pathetic and that's all i've got 2 say on this one 10. the whole movie just seems rush, no build of the story or the characters. The 1th in May is gonna be a sad day 2 x-men fans and wolverine fans in particular.

john on Apr 6, 2009


You guys forget that this workprint is probably a few months old copy of an UNFINISHED movie with 10-20 minutes missing. What the hell is so hard to understand about it? The finished version can change dramatically. The end could change, they could cut some dialogues or add new ones. And an original music score is doing a lot. How can you make an opinion on an unfinished product? It´s like you would eat half-cooked meal and then complained that it´s not good.

Terry on Apr 6, 2009


The story is what hurts this movie, not the special effects (for those who say the workprint isn't representational of the movie). It's a bunch of random scenes strung together. It's pretty bad. And all of the character chameos are just that -- fan service. They don't actually contribute to the story in any way. Gambit, for instance, could have been substituted with any other character in the world. They didn't write a purpose for him. It was a very disappointing movie, and again, this is not referring to the missing effects. So many things didn't make sense because of a bad script.

ebbie on Apr 6, 2009


Wow what a bitch, stay quiet or be honest.

Johnny Neat on Apr 6, 2009


I must admit, I saw the leaked copy of the movie. It started off kinda good then it got real bad real fast. Gambit was wayyyy underused. The "villain" at the end was a letdown and fanboys will be outraged. I'm looked forward to the theatrical version because I really want this movie to be good. But what I saw was down there with FF and Hulk 1.

Papichulo on Apr 6, 2009


Watched the movie last night and sad to say I did not like it. The story was rushed and gambit IMO sucked.........................

SHANEDAV on Apr 6, 2009


people this movie is about wolverine watch it for wolverine not other characters shit man im tired of seeing people bash this movie just because fox has bad reputation you guys are bashing this movie and i bet all of you who talk shit about this movie will probably be the first ones to watch it y cant u guys wait for the review to come and go see it in may im pretty sure hugh jack-man signed on for something worth his time ok and about the leaked version i think the movie will be a whole lot different because im sure fox is not dumb enough to do that

alan on Apr 6, 2009


Man I hope the final copy is light years ahead of the leaked copy because I felt like I saw something of the "Dardevil" status

Trey on Apr 6, 2009


remember "extensive reshoots" more 10 20 minutes ok plus huge changes in the script im sure fox is tired of getting a bad name and trying to create a whole new name so just chill all you haters and trailers are pretty damn good

alan on Apr 6, 2009


people gavin hood is and oscar wining director now do you really think fox would be stupid enough to force their will on some one like and the script writer has read wolverine comics since he was 9 so thats enough for me to have faith in this movie

alan on Apr 6, 2009


alan - Gavin Hood is NOT an Oscar winning director. Getting facts right is important. You should learn to re-read your posts for spelling and grammatical errors as well. Look, I think people are allowed to have their own opinions here. If the movie is going to suck, regardless of who the characters are, or the actors for that matter... then it sucks. No amount of re-writes, editing, fluffing, buffing, and coating is going to cover it up. On the flip side, if it's a good movie, then anyone upset with this movie's already bad publicity has nothing to worry about anyway. They're going to make a sequel regardless... There's just too large of a fanbase for this movie not to be financially successful. (Again, that still doesn't make it a GOOD film). So people need to deal with criticisms... both positive and negative. It amazes me how many people can't handle that. A crappy movie MAY come out about a character you so dearly love. **Deal with it.** I used to love Spawn, until 1997 threw that away.

Billy Bob the Boob on Apr 6, 2009


So folks download Wolverine off the net for nowt, then have the balls to come on this site to bitch & moan about how it sucks!!!

John J on Apr 6, 2009


@22 and those who want to talk about the leak.... C'mon can we get a spoiler alert or something? I highly respect your opinions on what you saw or what you heard about it, but can you give those of us who don't want to read it by accident, a heads up? I'm trying to keep an open mind until opening day.

Mr j Money on Apr 6, 2009


I'm sorry, I like Hugh Jackman and all. But he doesn't fit the Wolverine character at all. That's not the same dirty Wolverine I and all the fans grew up with in the comics. All the Xmen movies have just been okay. That's what this one probably will be. It's not hard to tell.

flamer on Apr 6, 2009


Tom Rothman should be the one to be blame if the movie goes out wring which i PRAY it DOESN'T because as Alex said it's all about the money and as #4 said it's also all about Fox they don't care about us or Wolverine or how the movie ends up to be. I hate when good actors,good comic book characters,hard work and good movies just dies in vain,I don't want to jump to conclusion.I'll wait and see. Hope all of that worth the hard work of Hugh Jackman,Gavin Hood and the rest of the team.

Fisherr on Apr 6, 2009


this movie was as shitty as an episode of heroes.

wolviefan on Apr 6, 2009


Neva seen a bunch of men crying over a unfinished movie of which was stolen!!!! I don't think there is a director or writer who can please comic book fans! You all complain about everything! You should just be happy they take the time to make this stuff for us. As I said before the movie was great nothing wrong with it to me. Just some of you cats trying to write reviews as if you gonna get a job offer! To those of you who haven't seen the unfinished work be patient it's gonna be worth the wait.

Black Dynomite on Apr 6, 2009


um.... Tim & John.

Booom Roasted on Apr 7, 2009


@39. Tim Burton and Jon Favreau? If so, good one. Don't forget Christopher Nolan, Zach Snyder, Singer (for Xmen 2) and Guillermo del Toro (blade 2 & Hellboy). Honorable mention to: Timur Bekmambetov (wanted) and the Wachowski's for V for Vendetta. Thought those were pretty pleasing. True tho @38, most comic adaptations are Dumpster Fires.

Mr j Money on Apr 7, 2009


That guy is a total idiot.

Samuel on Mar 25, 2011

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