Tempe, Arizona wins hometown premiere of X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Taylor Kitsch as Remy Etienne LeBeau aka Gambit in Wolverine
Taylor Kitsch as Remy Etienne LeBeau aka Gambit in Wolverine

Tempe, Arizona’s residents, schools, businesses, and a major cinema emporium are pulling out all the stops to prepare for the World Premiere of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, on April 27, at Harkins Temple Marketplace 16.

The Tempe Hometown Premiere will have all the trappings of a mega-Hollywood event including red carpet arrivals, klieg lights, screaming fans, paparazzi and media coverage of the film’s stars headed by Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman and including Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, will.i.am and director Gavin Hood.

Following a hard-fought contest stretching over thousands of cities and towns across the United States, Tempe emerged triumphant in a far-reaching, citywide bid to nab the gala event. Mayor Hugh Hallman himself rallied the community, which stepped up with dozens of videos that were posted on YouTube.

Now Tempe residents are lining up at the Harkins multiplex every day before and after work, to get the latest information about obtaining tickets to the event. Harkins Theatres is donating the entire complex – 16 auditoriums – to hold the expected throngs, and theater management is making sure the complex is in peak condition for the gala. The Arizona State University marching band, which will entertain premiere patrons, is rehearsing and finalizing its playlist; the university mascot, the sun devil “Sparky” is coming up with some new moves just for the event; and the school’s cheerleaders are practicing routines dedicated to Hugh Jackman and the rest of the cast.

The idea for the event came from Jackman himself, who wanted to express his appreciation to the fans by hosting the premiere, in which he will bring the movie and a few of his “friends and enemies” from the film to Tempe.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the first chapter in the X-Men saga, unites Wolverine with several other legends of the X-Men universe, in an epic revolution that pits the mutants against powerful forces determined to eliminate them. Twentieth Century Fox releases the film everywhere May 1st.