Based on Frank Miller and Chris Claremont’s Wolverine comics from the 1980s, The Wolverine is the sixth in line of the X-Men series movies. Starring Hugh Jackman, The Wolverine is a much awaited film for the X-Men fans.
Directed by James Mangold (“Walk the Line,” “Girl, Interrupted,” “3:10 to Yuma”), the film is set in sometimes after X-Men- The Last Strand, Logan is tired of out-living his loved ones. Having seen too many of his dear ones die in front of him helplessly, he decides to go away and lead a quite life. But trouble is a second name for Wolverine. Logan might run from the world, but Wolverine’s past follows him. In Japan, he meets with the ultimate enemy, a mysterious blast from the past. Engaged in the ultimate battle of survival, vulnerable for the first time, Logan not only faces his nemesis but also his own demon; his eternal struggle against his immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever witnessed before.
Logan’s long lost love, Jean Gray, portrayed picture perfectly by Famke Janssen in the previous X-Men movies, makes her appearance in The Wolverine. Yes, we have seen her die in and by Wolverine’s hands in X-Men Last Strand. But she plays a vital role in helping Logan confront his inner struggle of life, death and his own immortality.
The main antagonist of the film, Silver Samurai, played by Will Yun Lee, is a villain who puts Wolverine at his wits end. The ultimate battle between the two super human unfolds when Wolverine’s Adamantium claws faces Kenuichio Harada a.k.a. Silver Samurai’s Samurai sword.
Fox has released an official synopsis for the upcoming film. It says: “Based on the celebrated comic book arc, ‘The Wolverine,’ Logan finds the eternal warrior, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.”
Hugh Jackman is a self-confessed fan of the Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s Wolverine comic (1982), especially the Japanese saga. Jackman says, “There are so many areas of that Japanese story. I love the idea of this kind of anarchic character, the outsider, being in this world full of honor and tradition and customs; someone who’s really anti-all of that, and trying to negotiate his own way. The idea of the samurai too, and the tradition there – it’s really great. In the comic book he gets his ass kicked by a couple of samurai – not even mutants.”
At first, producer Lauren Shuler Donner asked Simon Beaufou to write the script for the film. But Beaufoy was not confident enough to commit to the project. Finally Christopher McQuarrie, who was unaccredited for his work in X-Men, was hired to write the screenplay in August 2009. Later, in January 2010, Donner said, the sequel will focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. Wolverine will have a different fighting style due to Mariko’s father having ‘this stick-like weapon.’ There’ll be samurai, ninja, katana blades, different forms of martial arts – mano-a-mano, extreme fighting.” She went on to say, “We want to make it authentic so I think it’s very likely we’ll be shooting in Japan. I think it’s likely the characters will speak English rather than Japanese with subtitles.” In October 2010, Darren Aronofsky was finalized for directing the film. Hue Jackman commented, “With Aronofsky directing, Wolverine 2 (later in November 2010 it was renamed as The Wolverine) will not be ‘usual stating. This is, hopefully for me, going to be out of the box. It’s going to be the best one, I hope… Well, I would say that, but I really do feel that, and I feel this is going to be very different. This is Wolverine. This is not Popeye. He’s kind of dark… But, you know, this is a change of pace. Chris McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects, has written the script, so that’ll give you a good clue. Aronofsky’s going to make it fantastic. There’s going to be some meat on the bones. There will be something to think about as you leave the theater, for sure.”
In March 2011 Aronofsky backed out of the film saying, “As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year…. I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won’t be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again.” Also, in 2011 Japan was hit by Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami. So Fox was in no rush. Despite this, Jackman said the project was moving ahead. “It’s too early to call on Japan; I’m not sure where they’re at. So now we’re finding another director, but Fox is very anxious to make the movie and we’re moving ahead full steam to find another director.” Fox panned out a list of directors including , Jose Padilha, Doug Liman, Antoine Fuqua,Mark Romanek, Justin Lin, Gavin O’Connor, James Mangold and Gary Shore. Finally in March 2011 negotiations were made and Mangold was finalized as the director of the film by Fox. After a year of finalizing actors and locations and crew, the film started its principal photography on 30th July 2012, with a budget of over $100 million.
Come July 24th 2013 The Wolverine releases. Judging from the trailers, the film looks promising. Since it is ‘kind of not a sequel’ of X-Men it should be loaded with thrilling surprises. My verdict; a must watch for all X-Men and Wolverine fans.
Lauren Shuler Donner
Wolverine by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller
The Donners’ Company
Hutch Parker Entertainment
20th Century Fox
Expected Release date(s):
July 24, 2013 (various markets)
July 25, 2013 (Australia)
July 26, 2013 (United States)
Wolverine/ Logan: Hugh Jackman
Jean Grey: Famke Janssen
Kenuichio Harada / Silver Samurai: Will Yun Lee
Viper: Svetlana Khodchenkova
Mariko Yashida: Tao Okamoto
Shingen Yashida: Hiroyuki Sanada
Yashida: Hal Yamanouchi
Young Yashida: Ken Yamamura
Noburo Mori: Brian Tee
Yukio: Rila Fukushima
View The Wolverine’s Trailer: