28 November 2021

Glenorchy, New Zealand




 
The movie X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE features Hugh Jackman for the fourth time as the mutant Wolverine, the alter ego of James Howlett but better known as Logan. It is also the fourth film in the X-Men series, the first of which came out in 2000. This film is a prequel and shows how the young James Howlett transforms into Wolverine.

Shooting took place in Australia, Canada, the United States and several locations in New Zealand. Six weeks of filming on the South Island started at the of January 2008. One of the locations chosen was Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, also seen in the second part of The Hobbit

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 1:10:30
Filming was not without controversy because a set of a farmhouse was to be blown up in the nature preserve. The explosives were stored at the Queenstown Fun Centre, an ice rink. Because the facility struggled financially, it could use the money the film company paid for storage. The local ice hockey players, however, had to move elsewhere. After the district council had been informed, the explosives were re-located.

Our visit to Glenorchy started in Queenstown where we were picked up by our guide Pete Mitchel of OffRoad 4x4 for an excursion to several film locations. 

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:45:20
Before we reached Glenorchy, Pete pointed out a scene in the film where Travis and Heather Hudson (Max Cullen and Julia Blake), the elderly couple giving Logan shelter, are driving on a bridge on the way to their farm. The story at that point is set in Canada, where people drive on the right. However, the arrow on the road shows that filming was done in New Zealand, here cars drive on the left-hand side of the road.
 
Earlier in the film, Logan can be seen working as a logger in Canada in 1979. His girlfriend Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins) is driving not far from where he is working. Pete was able to show us the exact spot on Paradise Road where this was filmed.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:30:12
Paradise Road, Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020

After getting his claws and the name Wolverine in a laboratory, Logan's memory will be erased. However, he manages to escape before the procedure and hides in the farmhouse of the Hudson couple who are driving to their home. We could not get to the exact spot (most of Glenorchy is private property), the mountains show it is the same location.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:45:08
Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:45:33
Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020

Logan's hideout is soon discovered. He manages to escape on the motorbike the couple have just given him but the farmhouse is blown up. Because the explosion could only be shot once, it was filmed with four cameras. Again, Pete was able to show us the location.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:51:47
Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:51:49
Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020

Logan rides a motorbike down an unpaved road, pursued by Agent Zero (Daniel Henney) in a helicopter. The mountains seen in the background were mirrored for this scene.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:53:20
Paradise Road, Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020

After a long chase, Logan manages to take the helicopter down. He is injured, but being a mutant his wounds heal almost instantly. As he leaves the scene, the helicopter explodes behind him. Pete told us that the helicopter was real but hung from cables and did not fly by itself.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:54:42
Paradise Road, Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:54:54
Paradise Road, Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:54:59
Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:56:18
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 0:56:21
Paradise Road, Glenorchy, Paradise Valley, 19 January 2020

Screenshots © Twentieth Century Fox/Marvel Entertainment/Dune Entertainment