Twentieth Century Fox has added three more superheroes to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” with Ryan Reynolds set to play Deadpool, “Friday Night Lights” regular Taylor Kitsch to star as Gambit and hip-hop artist will.i.am joining the cast as John Wraith.
Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston and Lynn Collins round out the cast as Victor Creed/Sabretooth, Col. William Stryker and Kayla Silver Fox, respectively.
Hugh Jackman reprises the role of Wolverine in the “X-Men” spinoff that Gavin Hood is lensing in New Zealand, Australia and New Orleans. Pic bows May 1, 2009.
David Benioff penned the script, which would reveal the origins of the Wolverine character and introduce other mutants not yet seen in the “X-Men” franchise.
Marvel has been eyeing the possibility of casting Reynolds as Deadpool, an assassin with self-healing powers, for some time with the idea of spinning off the character into his own film series should the character prove popular among moviegoers.
Fox and Marvel have also long wanted to add the card-throwing character of Gambit to the “X-Men” franchise but could never find a way to give him enough screen time among the many other mutants that have appeared in each film.
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am will play Wraith, a mutant who has the power to teleport, and is another test subject of the Weapon X program that created Wolverine and other mercenaries. It would be his first film role.
Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter are producing with Jackman and his Seed Prods. producing partner John Palermo. Marvel’s Kevin Feige exec produces.