Wolverine 2 Script Finished; Shoots January 2011

Slow news day today, so there are a couple of small news items bubbling up. One is that the script for Wolverine 2 has been handed in, and a January 2011 start date decided for the sequel to Hugh Jackman's last mutant outing.

Roger Friedman reports that Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie) has turned in a script, and that it is, according to Friedman, "a little different than we originally thought."

The basics are what we expected to hear: McQuarrie's draft is loosely based on the early '80s mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller that helped establish Wolverine as one of Marvel's major characters.

So what's different in McQuarrie's draft? Friedman says he's been told the film features "a love story featuring a Japanese actress."

That suggests that the primary female character is switched from being Mariko Yashida, the daughter of Lord Shingen Harada. In the limited series, Mariko was forced into marriage with an abusive man, which Wolverine attempted to help her escape. Shingen drugs Wolverine and challenges him to a duel, who defeats him. Also involved is a female assassin named Yukio, who later became part of the extended X-Men universe.

The female lead could still be the daughter of a warlord, or married to an abusive man. Maybe she's married to an abusive warlord! More than anything else, I expect the script to make the female lead a more active presence than we saw in the mini-series.

Meanwhile, we still don't know who'll direct. Gavin Hood, the man behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine, has said he is not attached, and Friedman mentions that Fox has not yet settled on a director.

Furthermore, with January being ten long months away this script could very easily undergo rewrites. In fact, I would expect at least a couple of minor rewrites done in the next couple months, and if a director with a particularly strong sensibility is hired there could be significant changes made.