Page last updated at 09:06 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 10:06 UK

Wolverine gala shuns LA glamour

Hugh Jackman greets fans in Tempe
Even fans who had tickets queued overnight to get a view of the stars

The small city of Tempe, Arizona hosted the world premiere of blockbuster Wolverine after winning a competition.

Fans had to complete a form on the film's website. Tempe, a desert suburb of Phoenix with a population under 200,000, logged the most entries.

Lead actor Hugh Jackman roared into the event on a motorbike and declared "I love this place. I'm moving here."

The rest of America must wait until 1 May for X Origins: Wolverine, which opens in the UK on 29 April.

Dedication

Tempe fans beat finalists from nine other US locations, from big hitters Las Vegas and Philadelphia to small town hope Zelienople, Pennsylvania, population 4,123.

Jackman loves talking to fans

Jackman praised the dedication of ticket-holding fans who had been waiting outside the cinema since three in the morning to catch sight of him.

"No one in LA is sleeping out overnight when they already had tickets to the best seat in the house," he said.

He was joined by other stars from the new film including Liev Schrieber, Will.i.am and Lynn Collins.

Ryan Reynolds, who plays the mutant Deadpool, thought this could be the way forward: "LA has had its fair share of Hollywood premieres. So has New York.

Fans at Wolverine world premiere
Fans who queued overnight enjoyed the unexpected spotlight on Tempe

"This is the way to do it. You get to be interactive with the fans," he added.

Local resident Paul Morales, 20, was one of the ticket holders who also queued to see the celebrity arrivals. "It's tiring waiting for the tickets but it's so worth it" he said.

"I'm proud of my hometown for getting the recognition it deserves for hosting a premiere like this, I couldn't be more ecstatic," he added.

Flu delay

Meanwhile, fans in Mexico will have to wait much longer for the film.

Its release has been delayed as the outbreak of swine flu in the country has forced many cinemas to close.

The Mexican premiere of Wolverine, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday night, has also been cancelled due to fears for the health of actors and studio staff who would have attended.

A spokesperson for Twentieth Century Fox said: "We were not only concerned about Hugh's welfare - and we would never send anyone into harm's way - but we also have an enormous office filled with people we care about.

"There was no point in proceeding under the current conditions"

The premiere event may be rescheduled in the coming weeks.



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