Michael Muller on his longtime collaboration with Hugh Jackman and on capturing the actor’s physique for “The Wolverine” trailer

Michael Muller and Hugh Jackman go back a long way—nearly a decade—collaborating on editorial shoots and key art for blockbuster movies. “Hugh was in the first movie poster I ever shot, X-Men: The Last Stand,” recalls Michael.

Their latest project together? The trailer for Jackman’s new movie The Wolverine, for which Michael directed footage of the actor’s powerful physique. “It’s rewarding to work on a film that breaks the $100 million mark out of the gate,” says Michael, “and have the honor to be part of the marketing component that sells these films.”

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“I directed this footage in between photographing him for a movie poster, which meant we had roughly 25 minutes to get it all done,” explains Michael, who shot the key art for Jackman’s other blockbuster, the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. “Working a jib and techno crane that scanned his body created challenges that just added to the thrill of getting the shot.

“In order to prepare for our shoot, Hugh approached it like a professional fighter—not having any liquids for 36 hours prior to the shoot and eating protein every two hours,” says Michael, alluding to Jackman’s well-publicized regimen, “creating a physique that looked like a chiseled statue straight from the ruins in Greece.

“Hugh gives everything he does 110%. The marketing part of a film is the least favorite part of the process for most actors, yet Hugh is in a very small class of actors who bring everything to the shoot. He has NEVER said NO to any request I have presented to him while shooting, and he does everything with a smile. I find this in people so rarely these days, and it’s such a breath of fresh air in Hollywood. He is so kind and and pays the utmost respect to me and every crew member on my team.”

Michael, who is represented as a director by RSA Films, is increasingly in demand as a director. In fact, he just finished directing a documentary, shot in South Africa, on great white sharks that will be broadcast on TV.

“The challenges of working in this medium are both exciting and fulfilling,” says Michael. “I look forward to what the future has in store for me.”

See more of Michael’s motion work here.

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