The Wolverine: Live Chat Clip & New Poster

Posted by Grey Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We take a closer look at 20th Century Fox's The Wolverine as The Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold sit down for a live Q&A session while unveiling the first (and curiously cool) poster for the film. 

We have last seen Hugh Jackman's new and improved Wolverine look (knowingly disregarding the time we saw him breaking out in Gangnam style) with our official First Look courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Earlier last week, director James Mangold spoke to Empire and made the unexpected announcement that the film that is set in the early days of Logan's life will instead be a sequel to all the X-Men films instead of serving as a prequel to the original X-Men trilogy (and a sequel to the abysmal X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Talk about convolution. The cinematic adaptations of the merry mutants of Marvel have finally caught up to its source materials in terms of continuity disaster):

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

That’s something that for me was very important, that I land in a very specific place in his timeline,” says Mangold. “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."

So apparently, we will be treated to a great deal of flashbacks to Logan's early days in good ol' Japan in this one. Here's the official image released by Empire with Logan breaking out his bone claws.

Earlier this week,  Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold got together for an extended Q&A session to answer questions from the fans. Hit the jump to check out the entire clip and head back for some selected soundbytes as well as the first poster for the film.

Thanks to Collider, here are some of the key takeaways from the transcript of the clip:

Q: Where does this story fit into the X-Men timeline? 

James Mangold: This film situates itself after the three X-Men movies that exist and finds Logan at a point when the X-Men are gone, Jean Grey is gone, a lot of the ties he had to the world are gone. It was very important to me, I wanted to place this movie in a story where Hugh and I could allow it to create its own world. Not having to answer to another movie or hand-off to another movie, that we could kind of do what we wanted to do and take him where we were going to take him. I also think it’s a really interesting place to find Logan, which is at this moment when almost every intimate connection he’s had to the world is destroyed or broken. 

Hugh Jackman: He’s definitely at his lowest point at the beginning of this movie. You’ll see him more vulnerable than you’ve ever seen him before. So it’s a fantastic place to start and having Jim there has been amazing. We worked together before on Kate & Leopold, but he pushes me, probably like no one else does. It’s been good. Mangold: We have a lot of fun. For me, making a lot of dramas…on one side it’s a different sort of challenge, and on the other, it’s not a challenge at all, meaning that my goal is to try and bring the realism and acting you might find in a straight drama with the intentions and conflict, where it doesn’t feel tongue-in-cheek, but rather committed and real.

Q: What new life does The Wolverine bring to the character?

Jackman: I never thought I’d be playing one character for this long, but I have to admit, from X-Men, my secret dream was to always shoot this particular arc of Logan’s story. From a very popular comic book arc, a samurai story set in Japan…Logan comes into it very much the tragic hero. As we’ve said, at the beginning of this movie, all the people that meant anything to him are gone. A lot of which he blames on himself. The movie’s called The Wolverine, and what Jim and I talked about, we really wanted this movie to actually, better than ever before, encapsulate that character. Forgetting all the others, whatever happens afterwards, this movie needed to be the one where you finish watching it and go, “Right. I got that character.” In every way: physically, emotionally, I had to go further. You have to see him lower, more desperate, more at stake than ever before.

Mangold: And more rage. I think the thing I want to see, for those who are fans of the comic, one of the aspects that is so huge for this character is his rage, anger. I think that for me, there was a lot of research and thinking about how to find that and tap into it, and also set up the story in a way…The Outlaw Josey Wales, was something I thought about a lot as I set out on this movie. It’s a phenomenal film in which Clint Eastwood watches his wife and children murdered in the first three minutes. The reason I kept thinking about it is because of how neatly and concisely the setup of that film set Clint off on a journey that was built on loss and rage, not just depression and disillusionment, but a quest for revenge. That aspect of darkness was something I felt was such an integral part of the Marvel legacy of this character. It’s easier to develop when a film is just about one character, rather than a team or a squad. You can really get inside Logan’s shoes.

Q: What sort of enemies does Wolverine face in this film?

Mangold: Yakuza, industrialists, politicians, women of varying degrees of “what are they? Who are they? Can I trust them?” It’s a labyrinth. I think that one of the things we’re trying to do in this picture, there’s an array…other mutants…there’s an array of people he will come in contact with, both good, bad and a question mark. I think part of the energy of the film…most superhero movies are eminently clear about who the “bad guy” is at the beginning and who the heroes have to battle to save this plot of land or group of people from the bad guys. This is a film where it is much more of a mystery or a labyrinth. Who can I trust? Where can I trust? It’s part of what makes it so interesting that Logan enters the story trusting no one, because he then has to come through this array of people he meets in Japan of good, bad and indifferent. 

Jackman: I don’t want this to sound cheesy, but I think also, himself. More than ever we’ve explored this war within himself, which is so endemic, which is why people love the character. In this movie, we explore his immortality, the burden of that. At the beginning of this movie, he’s finding it tough to find a reason to live. That essential battle goes with him throughout the movie and is one of the really important things. 

Mangold: When I got involved with the project, one of the huge things that was inspiring to me was this aspect of, if you place the story after the other X-Men films where he’s lost everything, and you’re faced with the theme of the weight for gods, which that’s what superheroes are in a way. The weight of forever. The heavy burden of living forever and what it means…The aspects of living forever and losing everyone you love, what is it like to live, essentially, forever? To keep trudging on, to keep rescuing humanity… 

Jackman: I remember our first conversation, actually, you said to me, “Enough with the, ‘I can’t remember what happened to me…what was my past? Who am I?’” We’ve explored it enough. It’s more like the future, how do I live with myself? How do I live with whatever knowledge I have and whatever’s happened. By this point, there is enough knowledge…I thought that was such a fresh perspective and more interesting for people to follow as a storyline.

Q: Which Wolverine comics are your personal favorites?

Mangold: I actually love this saga. When I was in this world of collecting, it was the one that landed, both from a visceral level…I loved the artwork, the Japanese aesthetic with the Wolverine aesthetic. I loved the aspect that it was character based. I loved the whole saga and the whole world, but it was a tremendous opportunity when this came up because it was always a series I really responded to.

Jackman: Same with me. It’s my favorite series on the Japanese samurai saga. But I also love Weapon X, he’s just classic. I love it. Still would love to see that scene where his hair grows back and the technicians are like, “Look at his hair. My God! It’s growing back!” That’s the one bit I still want to see.

And here's the first poster for the film.

Here’s the official synopsis for the film: 

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, THE WOLVERINE finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed. 

The Wolverine is currently scheduled to be released on July 26, 2013.


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