Michael Muller takes on the “Wolverine” cast

Even before the movie opened, bloggers at xmenfilms.net were buzzing about Michael Muller’s portrait of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine cast. Here’s a quick Q&A with Muller about the shoot and why Hugh Jackman—who jump-started the publicity machine when he personally emailed Muller’s photo to the movie website Ain’t It Cool News—is a rare breed of movie star in addition to a big-screen Wolverine.

How does it feel to know you’ve connected with X-Men fans?
Feels great. They are a very picky crew, those Comicon peeps. I love that genre of movie, so I always throw myself into the scripts, etc.

The cast of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as photographed by Michael Muller

The cast of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as photographed by Michael Muller

How long did you have with the actors for this shot? And what kind of direction did you give them?
First shoot was on day one of shooting, with Hugh only on the top of a mountain in New Zealand. We shot for, like, two hours straight. I have to say, I have photographed so many gifted people, but Hugh is really a rare specimen. He is so genuine and giving. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but whatever—he really is there to deliver what is needed of him. It is so rare to find people that committed these days.

Expectations are so high for a film like this. How did you approach the shoot, and when did you feel that you had captured “it”?
My working relationship with Fox is really abnormal. Tony Sella, the head of marketing at the studio, just tells me to go “nail it.” I know what’s riding on a movie like this, so is there pressure. But do I LOVE THE CHALLENGE? YES!

You’re also the man behind the posters for Iron Man, which was a big hit last year, Fantastic 4, and Spider-Man. Does it take a certain sensibility to shoot for these comics-inspired action films?

You need to go into these movie shoots thinking outside of the box. I think the days of the “formula” are over. I also think being a fan and kid at heart helps a lot!

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