Speculation is still growing as to where exactly director James Mangold’s The Wolverine will fit into the X-Men universe. Some have said it will be a prequel to the trilogy started by Bryan Singer, others have said it will somehow have a connection with the new X-Men: Days of Future Past. The rumours this week that Famke Janssen may have shot a cameo in the new film has also added mystery to the story, and it is thought that she might appear in a flashback in the film. Either way, no one is exactly sure where The Wolverine takes place, until now..
Empire‘s December issue is on sale now, and in it is an interview with James Mangold, along with the brand new image of The Wolverine included here. The image features Hugh Jackman as the hero, but here his claws are made out of bone. This would indicate the film takes place before he joins The X-Men as it was part of the Weapon X programme when he had his claws and skeleton coated in indestructible adamantium. However, Mangold made it very clear to Empire that his story stands on its own, and that he does not want to have to conform to any stories in other films in order to direct hos own film:
“That’s something that for me was very important, that I land in a very specific place in his timeline,” says Mangold. “I wanted to be able to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it. The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me that’s such an interesting part of Logan’s character that is nearly impossible to explore if you have a kind of league or team movie.”
However, just to confuse matters, Mangold also said:
“Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all,” reveals Mangold. “Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there’s a tremendous sense of isolation for him.”
This would indicate that maybe the image of Wolverine published by Empire is part of a flashback or sorts, and with the film seeing Wolverine heading to Japan to “find the truth abut his identity”, then I suppose flashbacks would make sense. As already mentioned, it has been suggested that Jean Grey (providing Janssen did indeed shoot a scene) may also appear in flashback so there would appear to be a lot of soul searching going on. Mangold appears to be taking a brave and interesting approach, and works well with Fox’s previous wishes to make The Wolverine like Batman or Superman, in that he can have his own franchise. Mangold’s approach here would certainly suggest that.
Directed by James Mangold, The Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman as the metal clawed hero, and joining him will be Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, and Rila Fukushima.
The Wolverine arrives in UK cinemas 25th July 2013.
Based on the celebrated comic book arc, THE WOLVERINE finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, 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.
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