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Footage from James Mangold‘s The Wolverine has been slightly confounding as it isn’t quite what some people expected — or hoped — to see. Fans have known the film is based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s early mini-series featuring Wolverine, published as he was on the cusp of becoming Marvel’s biggest character. Set in Japan, the story is a dark tale of vengeance, redemption, and love, which leads to certain assumptions.

The footage is more glossy and colorful than that story origin might suggest. But this is a studio summer film that has to be sold to as many people as possible. It can’t be that weird. And so there’s a fight scene on a bullet train — one of many additions to the story, and one of the big ones that looks least like the original source story.

Now Fox has released a big chunk of that fight scene online, so you can get a taste of how it plays out. Read More »

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The Wolverine

The last week has seen the release of a lot of new material for The Woverine as Fox tries to raise awareness of the film prior to its opening later this month. We recently featured an edit bay visit and a long interview with director James Mangold, just for starters. Now there’s a new featurette that focuses on Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in his in-story role as a sort of ronin. The featurette also talks more about the story points that see the character’s traditional relationship to his healing powers changed somewhat. There’s some new footage, but for the most part this is an expansion of the aspects of the film that have already figured prominently into marketing the movie.  Read More »

James Mangold The Wolverine

James Mangold has directed a little bit of everything — drama, romance, biopic, action, thriller, western – and now he’s attempting to bring all that experience to the superhero genre. On July 26 he’ll present The Wolverine, the big screen return of everyone’s favorite adamantium skeletoned mad man. Hugh Jackman is once again putting on the claws for a solo adventure that’ll take the character to Japan in search of a cure to his immortality.

After Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel, audiences might feel superheroed out this summer. However, watching the first 20 minutes of the film, it’s obvious The Wolverine isn’t anything like those massive films. Audiences have already seen the character in X-Men, X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (and to some extent X-Men: First Class) but here Mangold is digging deeper with the character, telling a much more personal story.

I, along with reps from Latino Review, FirstShowing and ScreenRant, sat down with Mangold for a half hour to discuss the film. While the previous article had some highlights of that talk, what you’ll find below is the full transcript. In the discussion we talked about working around the constructs of the Frank Miller/Chris Claremont Wolverine story, the original movies, his trepidations about the project, how the superhero audience is changing, how Christopher Nolan’s approached influenced him, if he had to hand off to Days of Future Past, developing the bullet train sequence, marketing in the Internet age, meeting Mark Millar, the work of Darren Aronofsky and Christopher McQuarrie and more.

If you’re looking forward to The Wolverine, this interview is packed with insight and information. It’s a great long read.

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The Wolverine chains
The first five words I wrote on the script were “Everyone I love will die.” This is a movie about that. (James Mangold)

Talking to James Mangold, director of The Wolverine, you get a sense this guy gets it. Not only has he directed films in almost every genre, and made Oscar-winners of several of his stars, he believes a great superhero movie needs more than a title and some explosions. “Calling something ‘comic book’ has a danger,” he said. “It’s too easy to take a brand and shovel a movie out where it doesn’t all add up, but people are going to show up anyways, because it is a comic book and a brand. My whole thing is take it seriously. Take it seriously like you were making a western or another kind of film of classic lineage.”

In April, 20th Century Fox invited /Film to speak with the director and see the first 20 minutes of The Wolverine. After watching the footage, it’s pretty obvious Mangold is being incredibly serious. The first reel of the film has some big set pieces, but also sets up what may be a surprisingly complex movie dealing with topics like immortality and genocide. It’s a film he hopes will redeem the character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and maybe even set the stage for the bigger Fox Marvel Universe, even though it’s very much a standalone story.

Below, watch a non-spoiler video blog discussing the first 20 minutes of the film and read a bit more about Mangold’s intentions with The Wolverine from our in-depth interview. Read More »

wolverine-trailer-jean-grey_3

Fox has released more than a few posters for The Wolverine, from director James Mangold, but the best have been a couple of images that employ a style based on traditional Japanese sumi-e ink paintings. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) was front and center on one and the Silver Samurai featured on another. Viper and Yukio also got their own ink renderings.

Now Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), whose presence in the film was once merely rumor, takes center stage on the latest poster. Check it out below. Read More »

Wolverine Samuari

Man of Steel opens this weekend, but don’t forget you have one more superhero movie coming this summer. That’s James Mangold’s The Wolverine, the return of Hugh Jackman as everyone’s favorite immortal, adamantium-clawed X-Man. This time Logan, dealing with the events of the original X-Men films, finds himself in Japan and posed with an incredible proposition. If he can become mortal and live a normal life, would he give up what makes him special?

Of course that spawns plenty of mutant, ass-kicking action and this latest international trailer might be filled with the most effects shots we’ve seen from the film yet. Tons of shots of Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), massive battles, and a few previously released stunner moments featuring the Silver Samurai. Check it out below.

UPDATE: Check out the first TV spot as well.

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The Wolverine

On November 1st 2012, I visited the set of The Wolverine in Sydney, Australia. To give you an idea of the timeline of my visit, Hurricane Sandy had just wreaked havoc in New York, and I woke up early one morning from the constant noises coming from my computer because I was getting so many notices of the breaking news that Disney had purchased LucasFilm and was making more Star Wars movies.

It is five in the morning and I’m standing in a street lined with Japanese houses covered with snow. The elaborate set was  built in a huge parking lot that was built for the 2000 Olympic games. Flakes of snow fall as ninjas run and ride motorcycles along the rooftops. Hugh Jackman is hanging off the top of a snow plow as it barrels down the street, away from a crowd of masked ninjas. Jackman, employing safety harnesses, flips to his feet on top of the snowplow and “activates” his claws. The second unit director calls “cut”, and Hugh notices our little grouping of press off in the corner and yells out “So you guys a pulling an all nighter? Why don’t you put some ninja suits on and get in the action?”

After the jump you will find a compilation of interesting facts I learned while visiting the set.

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‘The Wolverine’ Trailer #2

Wolverine chain

James Mangold took his sweet time releasing the first trailer for The Wolverine, but since then he (and Fox) haven’t been shy about showing off. The second domestic trailer for the comic book sequel, revealed today, has some more new footage still.

As if that weren’t enough to tempt you to keep reading, we also have two artsy new character posters for Yukio (Rila Fukushima) and Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova). Check it all out after the jump.

Read More »

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