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James Mangold Talks About THE WOLVERINE

I'm looking forward to seeing James Mangold's The Wolverine. As you know, it's based on a classic and badass storyline, and I hope that's what we get when it hits the big screen. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly the director talks about the film confirming that it will take place after the events in X-Men: The Last Stand, and explains that Logan is no longer a part of a superhero team. There's some interesting questions that are answered in this interview, like how much of the Chris Claremont and Frank Miller comic was used in the film...

A lot of that story and a lot of beats from that saga are in there — and a lot of characters. Without being religious about it, I think it’s a very admiring adaptation. Obviously when you’re adapting anything you make some changes. But all the characters are there – Yukio, Viper, Mariko, Shingen, and Logan obviously. The whole cast of characters that exist in that world exists in our film.

He goes on to explain what brings Logan to Japan, and the film he used as inspiration.

An old friendship. What brings him there is an old ally in Japan. We find Logan in a moment of tremendous disillusionment. We find him estranged. One of the models I used working on the film was The Outlaw Josey Wales. You find Logan and his love is gone, his mentors are gone, many of his friends are gone, his own sense of purpose – what am I doing, why do I bother – and his exhaustion is high. He has lived a long time, and he’s tired. He’s tired of the pain.

So there you go, for those of you who want to know what this story is going to be, read the comic. He goes on to explain the decison to set the film after The Last Stand,

It’s set after X-Men 3, but I wouldn’t call it a sequel to X-Men 3. You have a choice the second you enter a world like this with a huge amount of comic books, backstories, three movies, a Wolverine origins movie … You have decide where you’re going to exist in relation to all these other things, particularly if you’re working with an actor who actually played the character in other films.

Mangold goes on to discuss Logan's immortality, and how it's portrayed in the film,

I felt it was really important to find Logan at a moment where he was stripped clean of his duties to the X-Men, his other allegiances, and even stripped clean of his own sense of purpose. I was fascinated with the idea of portraying Logan as a ronin – the definition of which is a samurai without a master, without a purpose. Kind of a soldier who is cut loose. War is over. What does he do? What does he face? What does he believe anymore? Who are his friends? What is his reason for being here anymore? I think those questions are especially interesting when you’re dealing with a character who is essentially immortal.

Mangold then explains the importance of the baggage that Logan carries with him from the previous film saying,

It was only to my advantage to set it after the X-Men films because the X-Men had effectively ended at that point. A lot of the key characters had died. There was a sense if I’m locating this film not five minutes after the other movie, but a period of time after that last X-Men movie, I can find a Logan who is living separate from the world. He is no longer a member of some superhero team.

The thing Hugh and I try to explore in this one is the most interesting aspect of the character — the never-ending nature of his life. His immortality. The fact he can heal from anything. That is a kind of dream for us mere mortals. But it’s interesting to explore what a curse that is. Isaac Asimov did in The Bicentennial Man, a very different story, but a great story about a robot with a soul who has to watch as everyone he loves, including the woman he loves, grows up and dies – and he must go on for infinity missing her.

Finally the director talks about the most liberating thing for him about making the movie,

I felt the most liberating thing about coming after the other movies is you don’t have to hand it off or end it in some way that meets up with a previous film. For creative freedom, I didn’t want to have to, essentially, land this film in Wichita because that’s where the next one takes off from. It helped me to be really free, and in some ways be more loyal to Claremont/Miller, without having to be tied to other films.

This is just a little bit of the interview make sure to head on over to EW to read the rest of it. What do you think about what Mangold had to say about the film? Did it make you anymore excited about seeing the film?

The movie also stars Will Yun Lee, Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, and Brian Tee. It's set to hit theaters on July 26th, 2013.

Here's the synopsis for the film:

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine, the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before. 

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