Hugh Jackman badly injured a stuntwoman with his claws while filming the first X-Men (2000): “The wound looked like a geyser.”
Last year the 20º anniversary of the US theatrical release of the first film by X-Men directed by Bryan Singer which, together with the trilogy of Spider-Man from Sam Raimicontributed to the success of the cinecomics genre as we know it today, inevitably laying the foundations for the birth of Marvel Cinematic Universe. Furthermore, the film is still remembered today for the debut of Wolverine from Hugh Jackman that, despite some differences with the comic counterpart, has fully convinced the public and fans of comics by entering the hearts of many of them until the conclusion of its narrative arc in Logan (2017). Not everyone knows, however, that during the making real metal claws were used which made the shooting much more… dangerous.
In an interview with Express dating back to 2009, Hugh Jackman told a chilling anecdote regarding his claws. During the filming of the third act of the film set near the Statue of LibertyThe Australian actor reportedly injured his stunt double severely Rebecca Romijn (Mystica) with Wolverine’s claws. The injury forced the production to use “a fake limb with one arm hidden behind the back“To avoid other accidents but the prop was only used in one sequence before being totally discarded:
“For the first movie, we had real metal claws and I, the girl who played Mystica, aka Rebecca Romijn, and her stunt double were shooting a fight scene on the Statue of Liberty. I hit her in the arm, as it was foreseen by the choreography, and she should have moved it but she forgot about it and the claws went straight into her arm, about an inch. He was flabbergasted. It was one of those things that … It was a very deep wound, there was a hole but no blood came out and then, like a minute later, it became a geyser.. I did not faint and I thought she would scream and freak out but she just said ‘Yeah! I was pierced by Wolverine! ‘. The typical stuntwoman. “
In another interview with Entertainment WeeklyJackman defined the claws of real “killing machines“, Adding of having lost count of how many people he had inadvertently pierced besides himself. In an attempt to prevent any accidents, in fact, the actor often practiced with his claws behind the scenes and on his behalf but the result was not so different: “I have a lot of scars on my thighs, and that’s not a very nice thing. I have approached some sensitive areas, but all is well.“
Finding safer alternatives for the Canadian mutant’s claws was by no means easy for Fox, as demonstrated by the bad claws in CGI seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). For this reason, the claws were redesigned for Wolverine – The immortal (2013) of James Mangold in which, according to FX Guide, different types of claws were used – plastic, rubber and metal – based on sequence and action while maintaining CGI. About that, Tim Crosbievisual effects supervisor for Rising Sunhas explained:
“Those metal claws are pretty sharp. You can get an eye out quite easily with those… They are made of polished aluminum. They need to be sharp, otherwise they won’t have the same effect in close-ups. But they can only be used for stunts of a certain level, beyond which even the slightest bump can cut your knuckles… and that’s where CGI comes in. “
We remember that X-Men (2000), directed by Bryan Singersees in the cast Hugh Jackman (James “Logan” Howlett / Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier / Professor X), Ian McKellen (Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto), Famke Janssen (Jean Gray), James Marsden (Scott Summers / Cyclops) Halle Berry (Ororo Munroe / Tempesta), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Rebecca Romijn (Raven Darkhölme / Mystica), Tyler Mane (Sabretooth), Ray Park (Toad) e Bruce Davison (Senator Robert Kelly).
“In a future world, babies are born with a special factor in their genes, the X factor, which makes them mutants and gives them special powers. Senator Robert Kelly sows intolerance and prejudice towards these beings by clashing with Professor Charles Xavier who tries to stop the hatred towards them. To oppose Magneto, a mutant whose entire family was killed at the hands of the Nazis and who now has a desire for revenge on humanity, Xavier creates a special group of mutants, the X-Men.“