James Mangold directs Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine

James Mangold and Hugh Jackman have been pretty vague so far about the “really cool ideas” they’re considering for the upcoming sequel to The Wolverine, especially because they haven’t settled on any one concept just yet. But one thing we now know for certain is that it’ll be based on an existing comic book storyline.

Mangold let the fact slip in a recent interview, during which he also discussed when, exactly, the movie might take place. Hit the jump to see what he had to day.

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The Wolverine

The Wolverine Unleashed Extended Edition takes big steps towards giving long-time fans the version of Marvel’s clawed mutant that they’ve always wanted to see on screen.

The first solo Wolverine movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was a bloated, cartoonish mess that vomited stereotypical criticisms of comic book movies onto the screen as story points. Unsurprisingly, that left no one happy. When a follow-up, The Wolverine, was revealed to be drawing direct inspiration from the character’s early solo comic book outing created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, there was reason to hope the character’s second headlining gig might fare better.

The Wolverine hit theaters this past summer, and thanks to James Mangold‘s direction (both on set and behind the scenes in dealing with Fox) it was a thematically strong film, with Nolan-esque ambitions to break the image of the comic book film as a superficial effects showcase. Yet it still seemed to be held in check; in particular the film’s violence and intensity didn’t quite match up to the intensity of Claremont and Miller’s conception of the character.

For the Blu-ray and digital release of The Wolverine, Fox is taking an unusual step by releasing an extended and unrated cut of the film. This marks the first time that Fox has veered away from the PG-13 rating with an X-Men movie, and a rare example of any major studio offering an extended unrated cut of a major tentpole. I saw the cut last night on the Fox lot. It is more bloody and violent; it’s a movie that offers the grimier side of Wolverine even as it fails to address issues that kept the theatrical cut from fulfilling all its ambitions.

Note: full spoilers for The Wolverine follow. Read More »

Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

Today’s action-packed Sequel Bits contains news about spies, martial artists, giant alien robots, tortured mutants, and so much more. After the jump:

  • Transformers 5 and 6 depend on Transformers 4
  • James Mangold offers a minor Wolverine 2 update
  • Winona Ryder is “sworn to secrecy” about Beetlejuice 2
  • Simon Pegg says he’ll return for Mission: Impossible 5
  • Ong-back star Tony Jaa joins Wu Jing in SPL 2
  • Dwayne Johnson shares a fiery Fast & Furious 7 pic
  • Somehow The Hobbit is not done putting out new posters

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Wolverine Samuari

With its patient take on the popular character, James Mangold‘s The Wolverine was a slightly surprising hit. Most people expected it to be successful but, by the end of its run, it’ll end up being the 2nd highest grossing X-Men movie of all-time. So, of course, 20th Century Fox signed up the film’s director James Mangold, and star Hugh Jackman, to come back for a sequel.

The film is still a long ways off – there’s not even a script yet – but in a new interview Jackman said he recently spoke to Mangold and the ideas he has are “really cool.” Read More »

wolv-bigcostume3

We knew, thanks to one photo from a prop maker, that a version of Wolverine’s classic yellow and black costume was fabricated for James Mangold‘s film The Wolverine. It was never seen in the film, but it was used in one shot. Now you can see how, thanks to a multi-touch eBook promo for the upcoming Blu-ray release of the film, which has an extended version of the film’s final scene.

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The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman has already played Wolverine in six different movies over a decade and a half — seven if you count the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past — and now he’s going for one more. Jackman and his The Wolverine director James Mangold are now in negotiations to star in another installment of the series, which will be produced once again by Lauren Shuler Donner. Hit the jump for all the details.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Megan Fox Call of Duty

The Call of Duty franchise is consistently successful because gamers expect a certain level of quality. Beautiful graphics, impressive sound, tight gameplay and expansive multi-player action are all hallmarks of the series. In recent years, too, they’ve come to expect big budget, live-action TV commercials directed by and starring some of the best in the business. Guy Ritchie directed a commercial with Robert Downey Jr.; Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill did one; and Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel pitched the games. Now, with Call of Duty: Ghosts hitting shelves later this week, a brand new commercial has been released with similar star power.

James Mangold, whose latest film The Wolverine recently crossed $400 million internationally, directed a new spot featuring a cameo by Megan Fox. Check it out below. Read More »

wolverine-disc-covers

The practice of releasing unrated extended versions of comedies and action film goes back years. But Fox has never taken that step with an X-Men film, until now.

The Wolverine, from director James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman, hits disc formats on December 3, and Fox is giving fans an incentive to buy the tricked-out 4-disc blu-ray by featuring an extended, unrated cut of the film, only on that release. There are a bunch of good extras on that four-disc set beyond the new cut (including a commentary from Mangold) and you can read about those below.  Read More »

‘The Wolverine’ – What Did You Think?

Wolverine Banner small

After years of development, the second standalone film featuring Marvel’s favorite claw-wielding mutant is here. The Wolverine had a hell of a development path, but finally came together with Hugh Jackman reprising the title role under the direction of James Mangold. Their inspiration was the mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller that cemented Wolverine’s popularity in the early ’80s.

The team took quite a few liberties with Claremont/Miller — characters are changed, and with them so are some of the broad strokes of the story — but there’s a definite path that links the films.

Is that link, along with the film’s other positive factors, enough to make this one work? Let us know below — what did you think of The Wolverine? Is this a lot better than the first standalone movie, or just a bit better? (It can’t possibly be worse; on that point I think everyone can agree.) As always with posts of this sort, spoilers are encouraged in the comment thread below.

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