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“X-Men” producer talks “First Class” sequel, delaying “The Wolverine,” and redeeming “Deadpool”

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“X-Men: First Class” hits shelves on DVD and Blu-Ray this weekend, so it’s no surprise that “X-Men” franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner was doing the media rounds to talk up the film’s arrival. Of course, as is the case with these types of press circuits, Donner ended up chatting quite a bit about the other upcoming films featuring Marvel’s famous mutants.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what was said about each film:

With regard to a potential “X-Men: First Class” sequel, Donner told HitFix they hope to bring director Matthew Vaughn back for a follow-up film, despite the first film’s less-than-expected returns at the box office.

The next X-Men film on her plate, however, is “The Wolverine” — a follow-up to the financially successful yet critically panned “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” As has been indicated many times, Donner reiterated that the film will act as a standalone chapter in the franchise and not a traditional sequel.

“[We want] to distinguish it from the other one,” she explained to HitFix when asked about the title. “It’s much more of a standalone [movie].”

Originally expected to begin shooting this fall, “The Wolverine” is now likely to start filming in summer 2012 due to star Hugh Jackman’s busy schedule.

“I’m not sure when we’ll start,” she said. “Maybe summer 2012 we’ll start shooting. It’s based on Hugh’s schedule, frankly. When he’s available, we’ll film. …He’s doing ‘Les Miserables’, and then he has to come and train for us. So it’s all dependent on him.”

Spinning off of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” a solo film for Marvel’s mouthy mercenary Deadpool has long been in the works but often the subject of heated online discussion, given the uncertainty that Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role as the character.

“We’re working on getting it ready and presenting some things to the studio,” she indicated, “because we’re gonna give it a little bit of a different look. It’s a different kind of movie. If you know ‘Deadpool’ …it’s true to ‘Deadpool’. So you know, it’ll be violent, and outrageous, and funny, and all that.”

Still, Donner seemed sure that Reynolds will be back in action as Wade “Deadpool” Wilson.

“[We’re doing ‘Deadpool’] with Ryan absolutely,” she told IAmRogue. “Can you see anybody else in it?”

And just in case you’re concerned about the tone the film will take with the fan-favorite character, Donner offered up some comments to TotalFilm that should calm fans’ concerns a bit.

“[H]e was treated totally wrong in the Wolverine film and yes we will redeem him,” she said. “We have a few more things to do and then it’s up to the studio to decide whether we’re going to go forward or not.”

What do you think about Donner’s plans for the X-Men movie universe? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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