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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Joss Whedon probably won’t direct ‘X-Men 4,’ but how cool would that be?

This is how it goes. Someone with major geek cred denies a rumor — bonus points if the rumor sounds more like fannish daydreaming than anything even halfway substantiated as an actual rumor. And the denial gets played and replayed so often that it takes on a life of its own and gets everyone dancing with glee for a little while until the next not-even-unsubstantiated-rumor starts making the rounds and we move on to pointlessly pinning our hopes on the next too-cool possibility.

Here’s what happened. On Monday, Wizard Universe ran an interview with Joss Whedon that had everyone in a tizzy because, you know, we love Joss and we want more Firefly/Serenity even though we know we’re never going to get it and we’re all very sad that his big-screen Wonder Woman crashed and burned before it ever got off the ground and now we’re psyched to hear more about his original project Goners, a supernatural thriller he’s writing and directing for Universal and gosh, isn’t there anything Joss can’t do? *sigh* Really, we’d all have his babies if we could. And Wizard asks Joss:

There’s a rumor swirling that you’re going to write and direct an “X-Men 4” movie. Care to comment?

Now, I suspect there ain’t no such rumor, but what the hell? Maybe it’ll plant the seed of something somewhere. And Joss responds:

I haven’t heard the rumor, but there is no rumor that is not swirling. I don’t even know, are they even going to have an “X4”?

Heh. Wizard sells this review with a subheadline that reads, in part, “Joss Whedon reflects on… the possibility of ‘X-Men 4’” even though the quality of his reflection would have been exactly the same if the question had been “There’s a rumor swirling that the moon is made of green cheese. Care to comment?” There’s absolutely no there there, but does that stop the wheels of fandom from grinding? Of course not. Cinematical picked it up, with the headline “Joss Whedon Talks X-Men 4.” Whedonesque got it (though with less bombast). Moviehole was the most audacious: “Will Whedon direct X-Men 4?” its headline asked, when clearly one might as well ask “Will Spielberg Direct a $200 Million IMAX Animaniacs?” or “Will Lucas Direct Night of the Zombie Ewoks?” or any question to which the answer is: “Well, it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility, and if we do indeed live in a universe in which all possibilities do happen somewhere, then sure, in some parallel dimension, it’s on, but probably not on this plane of existence.”

Now, never mind that I initially read that last headline as “Wil Wheaton to direct X-Men 4” — though, man, that’d be interesting! What’s fascinating about this is the enthusiasm propping up this game of fannish telephone: you could power a major metropolitan area on the energy geeks expend being excited about cool stuff, even about cool stuff that doesn’t yet exist and may never come to fruition. Cuz there’s no question that Joss Whedon’s X-Men movie would be probably the most awesome movie ever made, at least until James Cameron’s Avatar — Whedon’s been writing for Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men series for a while, so he knows the characters. Most importantly, though, Joss is a geek himself, and he has a deep appreciation for the things we love. He’d do right by us, unlike the last X-Men director, a hacktacular hack whose name isn’t worth mentioning (though I’ll link to his IMDB page).

My big fangirl dilemma when it comes to a potential Joss X-Men? Pretty please, could Nathan Fillion play Wolverine? But then, wait: that would mean no Hugh Jackman!

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  • Paul

    I’d just wish he’d focus on getting Wonder Woman back on track. Why is it all the cool movie possibilities keep getting passed up while crap like Scary Movie X: Shameless Shit gets green-lit is beyond me…

  • MaryAnn

    Whedon says in the interview I linked to that he’s done with Wonder Woman. So, sorry, but if we do see a WW flick, it won’t be Whedon’s.

  • Shadowen

    Sorry, but Fillion wouldn’t be a good Wolverine. Of course, people said the same about Jackman (and the fact is, he’s too damn tall…). And at least Fillion’s Canadian.

    Hm. What I’d give to see Angela Bassett as Storm…

    Anyway, Fillion might make a good Gambit.

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