Sound & Vision Premiere Preview

In theaters: May 1 Studio: 20th Century Fox Director: Gavin Hood Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, Lynn Collins

Unless you spent spring in a bunker, you know about the Leak Seen 'Round the Web. "It was so disappointing," says director Gavin Hood about the security breach that fed a rough print of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (allegedly by one of the special-effects houses finishing up the movie) to Web denizens on March 31. "But it has created a massive awareness of the film," admits Hood, a 2006 Oscar winner for Tsotsi. "That's a dubious place to be, and it's hard to know the final effect."

The preliminary effect in some circles seems to have knocked Star Trek gossip off fans' lips and whetted their appetites for the story of how Hugh Jackman's Logan came to be a man-beast with an adamantium skeleton, and what role Liev Schreiber's snarling, sarcastic Sabretooth (a.k.a. Victor Creed) plays in his life. The story, written by 25th Hour's David Benioff and Hitman's Skip Woods, introduces fan favorites from the X-Men vaults, including Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) and Gambit (Friday Night Lights' Taylor Kitsch). But without the services of X-stalwarts Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) to give the story gravitas, Hood says he needed a heavyweight like Schreiber to go head to head with Jackman. "He happens to be the same height as Hugh, and he's a very physical and a superb dramatic actor," Hood observes. "We wanted to keep that kind of mirror-reflection idea going [from the other X-films], so here, Sabretooth becomes Wolverine's Magneto."

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