FOX "Almost Fired" Wolverine Director

Earlier reports of friction between director Gavin Hood and the studio have now been backed up. Shocking news has come in that the X-Men Origins: Wolverine helmer nearly got the axe from FOX until Super-director Richard Donner smoothed things over.

This from Variety...

"Wolverine helmer Gavin Hood (pictured above) was nearly fired, according to sources, because of squabbles with the studio, and two backup directors were in place before Richard Donner - who is married to the film's producer Lauren Shuler Donner - flew to the Australian set to smooth things over."

"At the time, FOX insisted that Richard Donner was on-set because he is a producer on the film. However, current credits for the film list various producers, but Donner is not one of them."

Apparently the arguments between director Gavin Hood and the studio are all about the tone of the film's content. FOX, not surprisingly, wants something lighter and more kiddie-friendly in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. Hood on the other hand wants to go darker and more intense.

Fox stated that, "in no way is Gavin Hood being replaced or usurped by anyone, this is very much his movie."

But that now appears to have been typical damage control deception as this new report reveals that not one but two directors were waiting in the wings, and Hood might well have ended up being dismissed and replaced. This latest news has made comic book movie fans increasingly nervous about the quality of the finished Wolverine film.

FOX has had a rocky year, with a poor summer for the studio, and genre fans furious over the studio's legal action against Paramount's Watchmen movie--an obvious money grab. FOX has also faced criticism by Babylon A.D. director Mathieu Kassovitz, who was unhappy with the studio's treatment of his film, and director Alex Proyas, who said he'd never again work with Fox after his experiences when making I, Robot.

Variety also points out the trouble: "The strategy of being cheap and eschewing top-tier filmmakers came back to bite the studio: Although Fox has been the envy of many for its remarkable box office consistency and profit margins, many producers, agents and managers have been less than charmed.

"Complaints about the studio's tendency to lowball talent - particularly writers - and Rothman's micro-managing of productions have become widespread. A broad spectrum of reps say they are reluctant to place clients on Fox projects, citing a talent-unfriendly atmosphere.

"Though Fox has no plans for a major overhaul, the studio has scheduled a strategy meeting to assess the status of its superheroes, a group sorely missed this summer. On the agenda, Fox will mull the possibility of more X-Men spinoffs, including a young-X-Men project as well as Deadpool, based on a character played by Ryan Reynolds in Wolverine. The studio is even considering reviving the Daredevil property."

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