Returning again on the big screen this coming 2013 is one of Marvel’s beloved characters, the brooding X-Men mutant, Logan, in The Wolverine. Reprising his role as the mutant with the animal-keen senses is Australian actor, Hugh Jackman, with James Mangold as the director for the movie. Marco Beltrami, who had been previously nominated for an Academy Award for his work on 3:10 to Yuma is going to work on the score for the film.
In the earlier 2009 franchise of the movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, viewers were given a glimpse of Wolverine’s early life, and how his time with the government squad, Weapon, subsequently influenced his life. In one of the post credit scenes, Logan was seen drinking at a bar in Japan – a hint as to where the upcoming movie will be set.
The Wolverine is based off the 1982 limited mini-series written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. In the mini-series, Logan travels to Japan where he finds out that his former flame, Mariko, has been forced into marriage by his yakuza father, Shingen Yashida. Wolverine then ends up enlisting the help of Yukio, a female ninja assassin working for Mariko’s father, to rescue Mariko. Within the movie universe of this story, Mangold has said that it is actually set right after X-Men: The Last Stand. Logan is thus left to deal with a lot, what with most of the X-Men disbanded or disappeared and most especially, with Jean Grey’s demise. With ninjas and yakuzas set against the hauntingly, beautiful backdrop of a traditional Japanese village covered with snow, viewers are certainly in for a visual treat with this latest offering from the Marvel superhero franchise.
Set to be released in on July 26 next year, the plot of the 1982 mini-series has been adapted by Christopher McQuarrie and Mark Bomback. Aside from taking the title role, Jackman is also one of the producers for this film, together with Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker, and John Palermo. Jackman has been quite vocal for his love with this particular story arc, saying that it shows a different, more personal side of the fictional superhero. The Japan story arc of Wolverine shows the more humane and vulnerable side of this favorite superhero as a more or less regular guy in the persona of Logan.
The Wolverine is said to have a budget of more than $100 million dollars. Filming for the movie had been originally set in 2011, but with the Tohoku tragedy that year plus Jackman’s filming for Les Miserables created minor setbacks with scheduling for the filming of The Wolverine. Filming began last July in Kunell, New South Wales then subsequently moved to Sydney, then back again to South Wales –this time to Picton- before heading on to wrap up the last few weeks in Japan. The Sydney Olymic Park was made into a beautiful, Japanese village set, swathed in snow. Several locations in Sydney was also said to have been transformed into Japanese roads, complete with signage and cars. The August production in Japan took place in several picturesque and famous spots, including the Tokyo Tower and Zojoji Temple in Tokyo; Fukuyama Station and Tomonura port in Hiroshima.
Joining Jackman on the big-screen are Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen Yashida, the yakuza honcho and father of Logan’s ex-flame. Tao Okamoto stars as Mariko, Shingen’s daughter; Rila Fukushima as the deadly Yukio; Hal Yamanouchi as the head of the Yashida clan; Will Yeun Lee as Shingen’s illegitimate son, Kenuichio Harada; Brian Tee as Noburo Mori, Mariko’s fiancé and a corrupt minister justice and Svetlana Khodchenkova, as Viper, a friend and foe to Wolverine.