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X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a 2009 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics fictional character Wolverine. It is the fourth installment of the X-Men film series, the first installment of the Wolverine trilogy within the series, and a spin-off/prequel to X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003). The film was directed by Gavin Hood, written by David Benioff and Skip Woods, and produced by Hugh Jackman, who stars as the titular character, alongside Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, and Ryan Reynolds. The film's plot details Wolverine's childhood as James Howlett, his time with Major William Stryker's Team X, the bonding of Wolverine's skeleton with the indestructible metal adamantium during the Weapon X program and his relationship with his half-brother Victor Creed.

The film was mostly shot in Australia and New Zealand, with Canada also serving as a location. Filming took place from January to May 2008. Production and post-production were troubled, with delays due to the weather and Jackman's other commitments, an incomplete screenplay that was still being written in Los Angeles while principal photography rolled in Australia, conflicts arising between director Hood and Fox's executives over the film’s direction, and an unfinished workprint being leaked on the internet a month before the film's debut.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was released worldwide on May 1, 2009 by 20th Century Fox and received mixed reviews from critics. The film opened at the top of the North American box office and grossed $179 million in the United States and Canada and over $373 million worldwide.

A second film, The Wolverine, was released in 2013. A third film, Logan, was released in 2017.


Plot

In 1845, James Howlett, a boy living in Canada, witnesses his father being killed by groundskeeper Thomas Logan. Anxiety activates the boy's mutation: bone claws protrude from his knuckles and he impales Thomas, who reveals that he is James' birth father before dying. James flees along with Thomas' other son Victor Creed, who is James' half-brother and has a sharp claw-nails and healing factor mutation like James. They spend the next century as soldiers, fighting in the American Civil War, both World Wars and the Vietnam War in 1973. In Vietnam, the increasingly violent Victor attempts to rape a Vietnamese woman and kills a senior officer who tries to stop him. James returns to Victor upon the commotion, and ignorant of his brother’s intent, he rushes to defend him. This results in the pair being sentenced to execution by firing squad, which they survive due to their mutant healing abilities. Major William Stryker approaches them in military custody and offers them membership in Team X, a group of mutants including expert marksman Agent Zero, katana-wielding mercenary Wade Wilson, teleporter John Wraith, super-strong and invulnerable Fred Dukes and technopath Chris Bradley. They join the team for a few missions, with James using the alias Logan, but Victor and the group's lack of self-control and empathy for human life causes Logan to leave.

Six years later, in 1979, Logan works as a logger in Canada, where he lives with his girlfriend Kayla Silverfox. Stryker and Zero approach Logan, reporting that Wade and Bradley have been killed; someone is targeting the team. Logan refuses to rejoin Stryker, but after finding Kayla's bloodied body in the woods, realizes that Victor is responsible. He finds Victor at a local bar, but Logan loses the subsequent fight. Afterward, Stryker explains that Victor has gone rogue and offers Logan a way to become strong enough to get his revenge. Logan undergoes a painful operation to reinforce his skeleton with adamantium, a virtually indestructible metal. Once the procedure is complete, Stryker orders that Logan's memory be erased so he can be used as Stryker's personal weapon, but Logan overhears and escapes to a nearby farm, where an elderly couple takes him in. Zero kills the couple the following morning and tries to kill Logan, but Logan takes down Zero's helicopter and swears to kill both Stryker and Victor.

Logan locates Wraith and Dukes at a boxing gym in Las Vegas. Dukes, who has ballooned in size due to a guilt-induced eating disorder, explains that Victor still works for Stryker, hunting down mutants for Stryker to experiment on at his new laboratory, located at a place called "The Island." Dukes also mentions Remy "Gambit" LeBeau, the only one who escaped from the island and therefore knows its location. Wraith and Logan find LeBeau in New Orleans, then both fight Victor, who kills Wraith and extracts his DNA. Agreeing to help release mutants that Stryker has captured, Gambit takes Logan to Stryker's facility on Three Mile Island. Logan learns that Kayla is alive, having been forced by Stryker into surveilling him in exchange for her sister's safety. However, Stryker refuses to release her sister and denies Victor the adamantium bonding promised for his service, claiming that test results revealed Victor would not survive the operation. Stryker activates Wade, now known as Weapon XI, a "mutant killer" with the powers of multiple mutants.

While Logan and Victor fight off Weapon XI, Kayla is mortally wounded leading the captive mutants to Professor Charles Xavier and safety. After Logan kills Weapon XI, Stryker arrives and shoots Logan in the head with adamantium bullets, rendering him unconscious. Before Stryker can shoot Kayla, she grabs him and uses her mutant power to persuade him to turn around and walk away until his feet bleed, then succumbs to her injuries. Logan regains consciousness but has lost his memory. He notices his dog tags read "Logan" on one side and "Wolverine" on the other. He pauses upon noticing Kayla's body, but does not recognize her.

In a mid-credits scene, Stryker is detained for questioning by MPs in connection with the death of General Munson, whom Stryker murdered to protect his experiment. In a post-credits scene, following the defeat of Weapon XI, his hand crawls out of the rocks and touches his head, which awakens and shushes the screen, revealing that he has survived being decapitated.

Cast

Additionally, Tim Pocock portrays the young Scott Summers. Max Cullen and Julia Blake portrayed Travis Hudson and Heather Hudson, an elderly couple who take care of Wolverine after his adamantium bonding. The Hudsons are heavily adapted from the comics' James MacDonald and Heather Hudson.

Tahyna Tozzi portrays Emma, a mutant with the power to turn her skin into diamond, who in the film is Silverfox's sister. The film depiction of Emma was originally intended to be Emma Frost. However it was noted that she does not exhibit the character's traditional telepathic abilities. It is later revealed by Bryan Singer that this character is actually not Emma Frost, but instead a mutant with similar abilities.

Wolverine's parents also appeared in the film; Aaron Jeffery portrayed Thomas Logan while Alice Parkinson portrayed Elizabeth Howlett and Peter O'Brien appeared as John Howlett.

The film includes numerous cameo appearances of younger versions of characters from the previous films, including Jason Stryker (William's lobotomized telepathic son whom he keeps in cryogenic suspension). There was a cameo for a young Storm, which can be seen in the trailer, but it was removed from the released film.

Patrick Stewart (digitally rejuvenated) also makes an uncredited cameo as a younger Charles Xavier / Professor X who appeared to have not yet lost the use of his legs.

Asher Keddie played Dr. Carol Frost. Poker player Daniel Negreanu has a cameo. Phil Hellmuth wanted to join him but was unable because he committed to an event in Toronto. X-Men co-creator Stan Lee said he would cameo, but Lee ended up not appearing in the film as he could not attend filming in Australia.

Production

Development

David Benioff, a comic book fan, pursued the project for almost three years before he was hired to write the script in October 2004. In preparing to write the script, he reread Barry Windsor-Smith's "Weapon X" story, as well as Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's 1982 limited series on the character (his favorite storyline). Also serving as inspiration was the 2001 limited series Origin, which reveals Wolverine's life before Weapon X. Jackman collaborated on the script, which he wanted to be more of a character piece compared with the previous X-Men films. Skip Woods, who had written Hitman for Fox, was later hired to revise and rewrite Benioff's script. Benioff had aimed for a "darker and a bit more brutal" story, writing it with an R rating in mind, although he acknowledged the film's final tone would rest with the producers and director.

Deadpool had been developed for his own film by Reynolds and David S. Goyer at New Line Cinema in 2003, but the project fell apart as they focused on Blade: Trinity and an aborted spin-off. Benioff wrote the character into the script in a manner Jackman described as fun, but would also deviate from some of his traits. Similarly, Gambit was a character who the filmmakers had tried to put in the previous X-Men films. Jackman liked Gambit because he is a "loose cannon" like Wolverine, stating their relationship echoes that of Wolverine and Pyro in the original trilogy. David Ayer contributed to the script. Benioff finished his draft in October 2006 and Jackman stated there would be a year before shooting, as he was scheduled to start filming Australia during 2007. Before the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike began, James Vanderbilt and Scott Silver were hired for a last-minute rewrite.

Gavin Hood was announced as director of the project in July 2007 for a 2008 release. Previously, X-Men and X2 director Bryan Singer and X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner were interested in returning to the franchise, while Alexandre Aja and Len Wiseman also wanted the job. Zack Snyder, who was approached for The Last Stand, turned down this film because he was directing Watchmen. Jackman saw parallels between Logan and the main character in Hood's previous film Tsotsi. Hood explained that while he was not a comic book fan, he "realized that the character of Wolverine, I think his great appeal lies in the fact that he's someone who in some ways, is filled with a great deal of self-loathing by his own nature and he's constantly at war with his own nature". The director described the film's themes as focusing on Wolverine's inner struggle between his animalistic savagery and noble human qualities. Hood enjoyed the previous films, but set out to give the spin-off a different feel. Hood also suggested to make the implied blood relation of Wolverine and Sabretooth into them explicitly being half brothers, as it would help "build up the emotional power of the film". In October, Fox announced a May 1, 2009, release date and the X-Men Origins prefix.

Filming

Preliminary shooting took place at the Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, during late 2007. Principal photography began on January 2008 in New Zealand. One of the filming locations that was selected was Dunedin. Controversy arose as the Queenstown Lakes District Council disputed the Department of Labour's decision to allow Fox to store explosives in the local ice skating rink. Fox moved some of the explosives to another area. The explosives were used for a shot of the exploding Hudson Farm, a scene which required thirteen cameras. Jackman and Palermo's Woz Productions reached an agreement with the council to allow recycling specialists on set to advise the production on being environmentally friendly. According to Hood, the screenplay was still incomplete as filming begun, with the production in Australia receiving regularly new script pages from Los Angeles, at times in the night before shooting.

Filming continued at Fox (where most of the shooting was done) and New Orleans, Louisiana. Cockatoo Island was used for Stryker's facility; the enormous buildings there saved money on digitally expanding a set. Production of the film was predicted to generate A$60 million for Sydney's economy. Principal photography ended by May 23. The second unit continued filming in New Zealand until March 23 and were scheduled to continue filming for two weeks following the first unit's wrap. This included a flashback to Logan during the Normandy Landings, which was shot at Blacksmiths, New South Wales.

Hood and Fox were in dispute on the film's direction. One of the disputes involved the depiction of Wolverine as an Army veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, with the executives arguing that audiences would not be interested in such heavy themes. The studio had two replacements lined up before Richard Donner, husband of producer Lauren Shuler Donner, flew to Australia to ease on-set tensions. Hood remarked, "Out of healthy and sometimes very rigorous debate, things get better. [...] I hope the film's better because of the debates. If nobody were talking about us, we'd be in trouble!" Hood added he and Thomas Rothman were both "forceful" personalities in creative meetings but they had never had a "stand-up" argument. In January 2009, after delays due to weather and scheduling conflicts, such as Hugh Jackman's publicity commitments for Australia, production moved to Vancouver, mostly at Kitsilano Secondary School and in University of British Columbia. Work there included finishing scenes with Ryan Reynolds, who had been working on two other films during principal photography.

Gavin Hood announced that multiple "secret endings" exist for the film and that the endings will differ from print to print of the film. One version shows Wolverine drinking in a Japanese bar. The bartender asks if he is drinking to forget, to which Logan replies that he is drinking to remember. The other ending shows Weapon XI on the rubble of the destroyed tower, trying to touch his severed head.

Effects

More than 1,000 shots of Wolverine have visual effects in them, which required three effects supervisors and seventeen different companies to work on the film. The most prominent was Hydraulx, who had also worked in the X-Men trilogy and was responsible for the battle in Three Mile Island and Gambit's powers. Many elements were totally generated through computer-generated imagery, such as the adamantium injection machine, the scene with Gambit's plane and Wolverine tearing through a door with his newly enhanced claws. CG bone claws were also created for some scenes because the props did not look good in close-ups. Extensive usage of matte paintings was also made, with Matte World Digital creating five different mattes for the final scene of the film—a pullback depicting the destroyed Three Mile Island—and Gavin Hood handing company Hatch Productions pictures of favelas as reference for the Africa scenes.

Music

Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, the score for X-Men Origins: Wolverine was mixed by Malcolm Luker, engineered by Costa Kotselas, and featured Martin Tillman on the electric cello.

In a 2008 interview with Christopher Coleman of Tracksounds.com, Gregson-Williams said that Hood attracted him to the project, adding: "I happened to meet him at the Golden Globes dinner about three years ago. That night we were both nominees, but both losers. He had been nominated for Tsotsi and during the dinner I had spoken to him and he seemed like a really smart and creative guy...and into music. So I was really delighted when I got a call to meet him and discuss the possibilities for Wolverine."

In late March 2009, Jon Burlingame of Variety was at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th century-Fox to listen and report on the recording of the score. Gregson-Williams conducted "a 78-piece orchestra and a 40-voice choir (20 male, 20 female)" to achieve the sound. At the time of his visit, Burlingame noted that the choir was singing "stanzas from an ancient Norse poem in Old Icelandic" to underscore what would be first track, "Logan Through Time." Director Gavin Hood commented on Gregson-Williams' style, saying: "Harry's challenge is to give us operatic scale, but also keep it intimate and human. Harry's music has a kind of muscular confidence and strength that is very useful for the action, but he also has tremendous soul." Hood also called the recording performance "frigging brilliant!"

Release

Leaked workprint

On March 31, 2009, a full-length DVD-quality workprint of the film without a timecode or watermark, with some unfinished effects shots, a different typeface for titles and casting, and alternate sound effects was leaked online. The studio said it would be able to determine the source of the leak using forensic marks in the workprint. The FBI and MPAA began investigating the illegal posting. Fox estimated the workprint was downloaded roughly 4.5 million times by the time Wolverine was released in theaters. As of 2014, Fox estimates that a minimum of 15 million people downloaded it.

The print contained a reference to Rising Sun Pictures, an Australian visual effects company working on the film. The company denied that they ever had a full copy of the film. Executive producer Thomas Rothman noted the leaked version lacked the ten minutes added during pick-ups in January 2009. However, the theatrical version of the film has no extra scenes that were not included in the leaked workprint. Both versions run exactly 107 minutes, but director Gavin Hood said "another ending exists that features the film's villain." The leak was traced down to a Bronx man named Gilberto Sanchez, who uploaded it under the name "SkillyGilly". According to Sanchez, he bought the unlicensed DVD copy from a Korean man.

Roger Friedman, a freelance gossip blogger for Fox News—a channel also owned by Fox's parent company News Corporation—was fired for writing a review of the film using the leaked unfinished copy, which he downloaded from the Internet. He described how easy it was to find and download the film even if the original source of the leak was no longer available on the web. The article he wrote for his column on the Fox News website was immediately removed. Bruce Simmons wrote in Screen Rant: "What was Friedman thinking?" Not only was it foolish for him to review the movie, but then "he bragged" about how easy it was to find and download the pirated version. "When you work for the bank, you should not brag that you stole their money!"

Marketing

Among the companies which provided tie-in merchandising were 7-Eleven, Papa John's Pizza, and Schick. Hugh Jackman also posed as Wolverine for the Got Milk? campaign. In February 2009, Hasbro released a film-related toyline, featuring action figures and a glove with retractable claws. In April, Marvel debuted a new comic series, Wolverine: Weapon X, which writer Jason Aaron said that while not directly influenced by the film, was written considering people who would get interested in Wolverine comics after watching the film.

In December 2009, Hot Toys released the 12 inch highly detailed figure of Wolverine based on the movie with Hugh Jackman's likeness.

Video game

Raven Software developed a video game based on the film with the same name, which Activision published. Marc Guggenheim wrote the script, while Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, and will.i.am voiced their characters from the film. The storyline goes beyond the one from the film, including other villains from the comics such as the Sentinels and the Wendigo, as well as the appearance of Mystique, who was in the other three X-Men films.

Theatrical run

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was released on April 29, 2009, in the UK, Denmark, South Africa, and Australia; April 30, 2009 in the Philippines and in the Dominican Republic; and May 1, 2009 in the United States and Canada. A contest was held on the official website to determine the location of the world premiere on April 27. In the end, the Harkins at the Tempe Marketplace in Tempe, Arizona won the premiere. The release in Mexico was delayed until the end of May due to an outbreak of H1N1 flu in the country. On April 22, nine days before the release of the film, it was reported that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was outselling Iron Man "3-to-1 at the same point in the sales cycle (nine days prior to the film's release)."

During its first day of wide release, Wolverine took in an estimated $35 million, with almost $5 million of that from midnight showings. The earnings placed the film as the 16th highest-grossing opening day ever (22nd with ticket-price inflation). It went on to be number one film at the box office with a total of $85 million. Among summer kick-offs, it ranked fifth behind Spider-Man, X2, Spider-Man 3, and Iron Man and it was in the top ten of comic book adaptations. The opening was lower than the last film in the franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand, as well as X2, but higher than X-Men, the first film in the series.

The worldwide opening was over $158.1 million, but Fox stated that some markets underperformed, mostly due to the leaked workprint in countries with illegal downloading problems. However, in an article for the "piracy issue" of Screen International magazine, film critic John Hazelton was doubtful of this explanation, writing that the film's initial performance was "uncertain" as the outbreak of swine flu in territories with the worst copyright infringement problems means that other territories did not compare at all.

While it has received mixed reviews from critics, the film has been a financial success at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo Wolverine has grossed approximately $179,883,157 in the United States and Canada. It took in another $193,179,707 in other territories, giving it a worldwide total of $373,062,864.

Home media

On September 15, 2009, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released X-Men Origins: Wolverine on DVD and Blu-ray disc. The two-disc Blu-ray includes commentary by Hood, another commentary by producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, the featurette "The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with X-Men creators Stan Lee and Len Wein", the featurette "Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins", 10 character chronicles, two more featurettes, a trivia track, deleted scenes with commentary from Hood, two alternate sequences, a Fox Movie Channel premiere featurette and imdb BD Live technology. Disc two of the set includes a digital copy. In addition, a Wal-Mart exclusive 3-disc set, which includes a standard DVD copy of the film was also released. The two-DVD special edition includes the two commentaries, the featurette with Stan Lee and Len Wein, an origins featurette, deleted and alternate scenes, and an anti-smoking PSA on disc one; disc two has a digital copy of the film. The single-disc DVD release has the origins featurette and anti-smoking PSA.

Wolverine was the highest selling and most rented DVD release of the week, selling over three million copies, 850,000 of them on Blu-ray. Through its first six weeks the DVD has sold 3.79 million copies, generating $64.27 million in sales.

Reception

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 37% based on 261 reviews, with an average rating of 5.14/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though Hugh Jackman gives his all, he can't help X-Men Origins: Wolverine overcome a cliche-ridden script and familiar narrative." On Metacritic the film has a score of 40 out of 100, based on reviews from 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.

Richard Corliss of TIME commented on the film's standing among other Marvel films, saying that it is "an O.K., not great, Marvel movie that tells the early story of the prime X-Man, and attempts to make it climax in a perfect coupling with the start of the known trilogy." He also said that "superhero mythologies can be so complicated, only a lonely comic-book-reading kid could make sense of it all." James Mullinger of GQ also commented on the structure of the story in saying that the "film clumsily tries to explain the origins of James [Howlett], AKA Wolverine, which had wisely only ever been briefly referred to in the original X-Men saga. In doing so, it creates a fairly bland plot which is full of holes." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post was generally more favorable towards Origins, stating "Fortunately, Jackman is well-matched with Schreiber, who can sneer with the best of them and wears fangs well. The two have three spectacular battles together before squaring off against a formidable enemy atop a nuclear reactor." Peter Rainer of The Christian Science Monitor also praised Jackman's performance, saying that "Hugh Jackman demonstrates that you can segue effortlessly from a tuxedoed song-and-dance man at the Oscars to a feral gent with adamantium claws and berserker rage." Claudia Puig of USA Today considered the movie "well-acted, with spectacular action and witty one-liners".

Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four and asked about the title character, "Why should I care about this guy? He feels no pain and nothing can kill him, so therefore he's essentially a story device for action sequences." James Berardinelli gave Wolverine two and a half stars out of four, calling the action scenes competently executed but not memorable, and considering that when dealing with Wolverine's past "there's little creativity evident in the way those blanks are filled in", and that the revelations made Wolverine "less compelling". Comparatively, Bill Gibron of AMC's Filmcritic.com website gave the film a positive "4.0 out of 5 stars," saying that although Hugh Jackman is "capable of carrying even the most mediocre effort, he singlehandedly makes X-Men Origins: Wolverine an excellent start to the summer 2009 season." He predicted "there will be purists who balk at how Hood and his screenwriters mangle and manipulate the mythology;" and further said that "any ending which leaves several characters unexplained and unaccounted for can't really seal the full entertainment deal."

Regarding Wolverine within the context of the X-Men film series, Tom Charity of CNN commented: "Serviceable but inescapably redundant, this Wolverine movie does just enough to keep the X-Men franchise on life support, but the filmmakers will have to come up with some evolutionary changes soon if it's going to escape X-tinction." Similarly, A. O. Scott of The New York Times expressed that "X-Men Origins: Wolverine will most likely manage to cash in on the popularity of the earlier episodes, but it is the latest evidence that the superhero movie is suffering from serious imaginative fatigue." On a more negative note, Philip French of The Observer said that the film's "dull, bone-crushing, special-effects stuff" is "of interest only to hardcore fans who've probably read it all in Marvel comics."

Sukhdev Sandhu of The Daily Telegraph stated that "Wolverine is an artificial stimulus package of the most unsatisfying kind. Aggressively advertised and hyped to the hills, it will no doubt attract full houses at first; after that though, when word-of-mouth buzz-kill goes into overdrive, there's bound to be widespread deflation and a palpable feeling of being conned." Similarly, Orlando Parfitt of IGN (UK) praised the performances of the actors and the action scenes, but stated that the film felt underdeveloped: "There's an enjoyable time to be had with Wolverine, but it's also somewhat unsatisfying." Furthermore, Scott Mendelson of The Huffington Post gave the film a grade of "D", noting that "Wolverine was the lead character of [the X-Men] films, and we've already learned everything we need to know from the films in said franchise," adding that "the extra information given here actually serves to make the character of Logan/Wolverine less interesting." Steven Rea also felt that the film injured the character by proving that "how the hero acquired his special powers turns out to be a whole lot less interesting than what he does with them", while also being "a mash-up of meaningless combat sequences (meaningless because Logan/Wolverine is just about unstoppable), sub-par visual effects, template backstory, and some goofy Liev Schreiber-as-a-villain thespianizing".

Hugh Jackman later confessed being unhappy with the final result of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The actor wanted primarily a film that would deepen the Wolverine character, but "somehow the first Wolverine movie ended up looking like the fourth X-Men — just with different characters." He tried to avert the same results while doing the character's next solo film: 2013's The Wolverine.

Two cases exist of adolescents injecting themselves with elemental mercury after having seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine and incorrectly believing this would convert their bones to metal similar to Wolverine.

Sequel

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was set to be the first of a series of X-Men Origins prequels, with the other being focused on Erik Lensherr / Magneto, however, this entered development hell and was eventually canceled with elements instead being incorporated in X-Men: First Class (2011). A second Wolverine film titled The Wolverine (2013) was set years after X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) as a standalone sequel. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) was confirmed to erase the events of Wolverine through retroactive continuity. A third Wolverine film titled Logan was released on March 3, 2017 as Hugh Jackman's last time portraying the character. At one time, Liev Schreiber was discussed as being in talks to reprise his role in this third film. The spin-off film Deadpool (2016) and its sequel Deadpool 2 (2018) feature Ryan Reynolds reprising his role as the title character albeit more faithful to the comics. Several jokes in Deadpool are aimed at the expense of Wolverine due to the negative reaction of Weapon XI's portrayal. A mid-credits scene in Deadpool 2 depicts the title character traveling backwards in time to the events of Wolverine to kill the widely criticized interpretation.

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