In May 2009, Fox Studios and Marvel Comics capitalized on the success of the X-Men film franchise and released X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The film traces the life of fictional character James Howlett, played by Hugh Jackman, along his path from childhood to the point at which he becomes the superhero Wolverine.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine begins in Canada, with a young James Howlett witnessing the death of his father at the hands of a groundskeeper named Thomas Logan. After the death of his father, Howlett begins to notice signs of his mutation -- claws that emerge from his hands. The young child then uses these claws to kill the man who killed his father. As the man dies, he reveals that, in truth, he is the boy's father.
After killing his father, James leaves Canada, his home, along with his brother, Victor Creed -- the other, mentally-unstable, son of Thomas Logan. It is revealed that both boys have mutations which, among other things, give them both expanded livespans. The boys then, slowly growing, go on to spend approximately 100 years as soldiers, taking part in several wars including the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, James and his brother join Team-X, a group of mutants fighting for the U.S. Army.
Upset with the methods of the team, James leaves them. Several years after, back in Canada and now living under the name Logan, his girlfriend is attacked and killed by his brother, who has started killing members of Team X. Soon after, Logan is approached by his former commander, Major William Stryker, who offers Logan a chance to destroy Victor as revenge for the death of Logan's girlfriend. Stryker suggests that Logan undergo a procedure in which his skeleton is replaced by an unbreakable substance -- adamantium.
After the procedure, Stryker attempts to erase Logan's memory, but the latter discovers the plan and flees. Now Wovlerine, Logan tracks Stryker to his lab. In defense, Stryker activates a mutant killer, Weapon XI. Wolverine is saved by another mutant -- Gambit -- but not before Wolverine decapitates the mutant killer. In the process, Wolverine is shot with adamantium bullets, and loses his memory. He awakes, then flees. Shortly later, Stryker is arrested by military police, and it is revealed that the mutant killer is still alive.