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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Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 by Angie Han
Though the comic book world can be a very dark place, what with all those evil supervillains and bloody battles and heroic deaths and whatnot, a comic book movie director can only show so much of that stuff without risking the film’s commercial prospects. Mainstream superhero tales will push the constraints of the PG-13 rating as far as they’ll stretch, but it’s very rare that they’ll actually break through them.
But hey, that’s what unrated director’s cuts are for. In the case of The Wolverine, James Mangold states that while he’s “very happy” with the theatrical cut, he has plans to release an even more violent unrated edition for home video. Hit the jump to see what he wants to add in.
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James Mangold has done something miraculous with The Wolverine. He’s made us care about the character beyond the claws. After X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it seemed like audience might be ready to write off Hugh Jackman‘s portrayal of everyone’s favorite adamantium-laced madman. With this film, though, Mangold takes the character back to his roots. We get into the psychology of him, his thoughts and desires, all wrapped around a very specific story set sometime after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand.
The Wolverine opens on July 26 and as we get closer, we’ll have much more on the film. For now, watch this spoiler-free video reaction with myself and Peter Sciretta. Read More »
When San Diego Comic-Con announced their 2013 schedules last week, there was one big, glaring blank spot. It read “20th Century Fox – TBD – Hall.” Fans all wondered what the studio could be bringing. Their upcoming X-Men movies, The Wolverine and X-Men Days of Future Past? The teen sequel Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters? Next summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Matthew Vaughn’s next film The Secret Service? Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four? The questions were endless and now we have a partial answers.
Fox will bring stars and presentations for James Mangold‘s The Wolverine, Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and one unannounced “major” surprise. Read More »
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 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 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 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 »
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 »