James Mangold, the director of THE WOLVERINE, got to chatting about where THE WOLVERINE fits chronologically in the ever increasing X-MEN filmic landscape, and what to escape in terms of tone and mood. It doesn’t sound like a happy movie. Of course, any time someone mentions X-MEN 3, people tend to get unhappy.
Here’s what he had to say:
“It’s set after ‘X-Men 3′, but I wouldn’t call it a sequel to ‘X-Men 3′…Because of some of the themes in the Claremont/Miller saga. I felt it was really important to find Logan at a moment where he was stripped clean of his duties to the X-Men, his other allegiances, and even stripped clean of his own sense of purpose. I was fascinated with the idea of portraying Logan as a ronin – the definition of which is a samurai without a master, without a purpose. Kind of a soldier who is cut loose. War is over. What does he do? What does he face? What does he believe anymore? Who are his friends? What is his reason for being here anymore? I think those questions are especially interesting when you’re dealing with a character who is essentially immortal.”
“What I wrote on the back of the script when I first read it was ‘Everyone I love will die,’…The story I’ve been telling, he enters it believing that. Therefore he’s living in a kind of isolation. He gets drawn to Japan by an old friendship and then finds himself in a labyrinth of deceit, caught up in the agendas of mobsters, of wealth, and other powers we come to understand… You find Logan and his love is gone, his mentors are gone, many of his friends are gone, his own sense of purpose – what am I doing, why do I bother – and his exhaustion is high. He has lived a long time, and he’s tired. He’s tired of the pain.”
The film certainly borrows a lot from Frank Miller and Chris Claremont’s mini-series, as the film features many of the same motifs as well as the same characters, including Yukio, Viper, Mariko, and Shingen.
The film stars Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, and Brian Tee. THE WOLVERINE opens July 26th, 2013.