If it wasn't for the promise from everyone involved that Chris McQuarrie's screenplay is A* quality stuff, I would have suggested long ago to 20th Century Fox to drop The Wolverine and just focus on getting an X-Men 4 movie into gear in the near future. But because McQuarrie's screenplay (based on Frank Miller & Chris Claremont's run in the 80's) is said to be so stellar, I'm still rooting for this one to get made. Last week we heard that The Wolverine was being setup for a November-March shoot in Vancouver, Fox ditching plans to shoot in Japan (where the movie is almost exclusively set) because of the unpredictable weather factor but Deadline reports that plans have changed completely and the film probably won't roll until the Spring. The reason? Well Hugh Jackman the showman is desperate to give us another song-and-dance routine for Tom Hooper's version of the long-running musical Les Miserables that he became attached to in June. Fox were clearly desperate to get the movie in front of camera's this year and would have done if the Japanese tsunami didn't hit in the Spring forcing Darren Aronofsky to rule himself out of directing. After months of searching Fox secured James Mangold (Walk the Line, Knight & Day) as his replacement but even with all the pieces seemingly falling into the right place, the one thing Fox didn't count on was Universal's adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel, a musical that Hugh Jackman has great affinity for with a role that is simply tailor made for him, and he doesn't want to lose out on the opportunity. Hooper has been casting his musical over the summer and already has the considerable coups of Jackman as Jean Valjean, the escaped and reformed prisoner who is struggling to survive during the French revolution and with Master & Commander and A Beautiful Mind co-stars Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany both battling over the role of Inspector Javert, Valjean's arch nemesis. That movie was being setup for a February 2012 start date but Universal really believe in the film and are pushing for it to shoot this fall so it can hit the Awards season of next year. Casting is getting aggressive and industry tracking site It's On The Grid report that Hayden Panettiere, Miranda Cosgrove, Lucy Hale and Emma Watson are being courted for Eponine and Cosette with Amy Adams and Rebecca Hall wanted for Fantine. Oscar nominated King's Speech actors Geoffrey Rush (as Thenardier) and Helena Bonham Carter (as Madame Thenardierare) are also in early talks to re-team with Hooper for the musical. So another delay for The Wolverine and it remains to be seen whether James Mangold will stay attached all the way until next Spring (and really... is there any guarantee's it will even film then?) or whether he will move on to something else. What this means for the bigger picture of the X-Men franchise is unclear. No sequels to X-Men: First Class have been greenlit yet despite Matthew Vaughn and his cast eager to get moving on it and of course X-Men 4 and the Deadpool spin-offs only get as far as being movies Fox 'want to make' at some point.