'Chuck' Star Liev Schreiber on Sabretooth's 'X-Men' Future: 'I'd Be Happy to Dust Him Off'

Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo Movies
Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (Photo: 20th Century Fox)
Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (Photo: 20th Century Fox)

Scheduling conflicts may have torpedoed a longed-for Wolverine/Sabretooth reunion in this year’s Logan, but Liev Schreiber says he’s ready and willing to pop Victor Creed’s claws again in the X-Men cinematic universe. “I love the character and would certainly be happy to dust him off anytime they’re interested,” the actor tells Yahoo Movies. He even suggests an idea for how he’d like Sabretooth — who survived the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and, in the series’ complicated chronology, was last seen plunging into New York Harbor at the end of Bryan Singer‘s original X-Men (where he was played by Tyler Mane) — to return. “There was this great thing in the comics where he’d show up for Wolverine’s birthday every year just to beat the crap out of him,” Schreiber recalls.

Of course, that pitch is complicated by the fact that Logan brought Wolverine’s story to a definitive conclusion. But there are certainly ways for the character to return either as Hugh Jackman or with a completely different face and form. Either way, Schreiber’s Sabretooth, who also enjoys Wolverine’s healing factor-enabled long lifespan, potentially could be there waiting to take a second shot at his half-brother. “I was always hoping he could get some adamantium [claws] to even the score,” the actor says, chuckling.

Schreiber is currently in fighting form for Chuck, a boxing drama previously known as The Bleeder, based on the life of famed “Bayonne Bleeder,” Chuck Wepner, who absorbed the blows of legends such as George Foreman and Sonny Liston over the course of his career in the ring. It was his lopsided 1975 bout with Muhammad Ali — where Wepner scored a surprise knockdown against his superior opponent in the ninth round, only to be TKO’d in the 15th — that inspired Sylvester Stallone to write a screenplay about another underdog who took on the heavyweight champ: Rocky Balboa.

Liev Schreiber as Chuck Wepner and Naomi Watts as Linda in ‘Chuck’ (Photo: TIFF)
Liev Schreiber as Chuck Wepner and Naomi Watts as Linda in ‘Chuck’ (Photo: TIFF)

As it happens, Stallone (played by Morgan Spector) is a character in Chuck, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year under its former title, and opens in theaters on May 5. “Part of the trick is that it’s not really an impression,” Schreiber says of Spector’s scene-stealing portrayal of Stallone. “He’s carefully going, ‘Let’s assume that this guy is not this iconic character from pop culture, he’s just this character in this movie.”

After the release of Rocky in 1976, the Italian Stallion loomed large in Wepner’s own story. As Chuck illustrates, Wepner developed a love/hate relationship with his fictionalized counterpart. These days, though, Schrieber says that Wepner’s feelings have tipped more in the direction of love than hate. “He knows that [Rocky] was a huge moment in his life,” the actor says of the now 78-year-old ex-fighter, who still lives in New Jersey. “It came at a price, but I think Chuck loved every minute of it. He’s a terrific storyteller; one of the things you notice about him it that he’s been hit by some of the greatest and strongest heavyweights, and he’s still sharp as a tack.”

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