Chris Claremont Talks Not Being Credited In ‘The Wolverine’
The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, arrived in theaters this past weekend. This is the sixth time Jackman has played the iconic X-Man, and the role has taken his career to heights it likely otherwise never would have reached, and much of that is owed to Chris Claremont. Along with artist Frank Miller, Claremont created the original Wolverine miniseries that this latest film is largely based on, and over his near 20+ years writing X-Men stories he did more to influence the development of Wolverine than anyone. Despite that, neither Claremont or Miller's name appears anywhere in the credits of the film, with not even so much as a "special thanks."
In an interview for Vulture, Sean Howe, the author of the Eisner-winning Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, asked Claremont for his thoughts on the film, how he feels about seeing his words on screen, and not being given any credit for the film's creation.
In the interview, Claremont offered the following when asked about not being credited in the film:
The thing about the credit … We did this mostly for fun. It was earning a living, but we did it for fun. There are still grace notes that make you grin. In the first Wolverine movie, when he looks at Silver Fox and says [the line I wrote], “I'm the best at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice” — at the screening, I was sitting there going, “Yesss!” and my wife is elbowing me in the hips to stop it. Those moments are cool. Or Hugh shouting out to [comics writer] Len Wein at Comic-Con, to thank him for creating the character. On the purely human side of the equation, it’s always nice to have someone say so.
I'm not exactly sure what I would have expected from Claremont in response to a questions like this, though I do feel his tone is a bit more low key than I might have guessed. Depending on who you ask, this is either a realistic or resigned response to a question that is essentially about work-for-hire, and the current financial success many of these super hero films are realizing while the creators who built the mythos behind the characters they feature see little to no monetary windfall. As for Len Wein, the Wolverine co-creator's earlier words about Jackman's success in portraying the X-Man stand somewhat in contrast to Claremont's words. From Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story:
I have not seen a dime off of any Marvel stuff, nor do I have a credit on the Wolverine film. Hugh Jackman is a lovely man, and at the premiere he told the audience that he owed his career to me and had me take a bow. It was very gratifying and very nice. I would have preferred a check.