New 'The Wolverine' Image Features A Bone Claw Flashback

Whether or not you like this new image of Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine might depend to some extent on your feelings about the character's claws. See, in early Wolverine comics appearances the guy was a mutant whose skeleton had been enhanced with adamantium, and his claws were added during that process. Later, Marvel wrote in a big change: the claws are actually bone, and have been with Wolvie since birth; they were coated with adamantium when the guy's skeleton was tweaked. That's one of many small (and some not so small) changes to the character over the years as Marvel tried to keep fans reading about the anti-hero.

But now, in addition to this image that clearly shows bone claws, we also learn that director James Mangold says The Wolverine takes place after all other X-Men movie continuity. So if the film isn't a prequel to the X-Men films (as we had assumed it would be) is this a flashback shot?

Mangold told Empire,

Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all... Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there's a tremendous sense of isolation for him.

But he also says the film "will take place outside of all previous X-film continuity," which seems to directly put to death recent rumors of Famke Janssen shooting a cameo for the film as Jean Grey. (Unless she's part of a flashback as well.) So what does that mean? Frankly, I don't know how the two statements reconcile. Mangold tries to explain,

I wanted to be able to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it. The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me that's such an interesting part of Logan's character that is nearly impossible to explore if you have a kind of league or team movie.

Finally, he called the film a "Japanese noir picture with tentpole action in it," which is pretty much exactly what The Wolverine should be. [via CBM]