Release Date: July 26
Director: James Mangold
Rating: Not Yet Rated
On his own and disillusioned with life, Wolverine finds himself in Japan where the love of a woman entangles the claw-commanding mutant into a battle with a powerful crime syndicate.
What We Know:
Set sometime after the disastrous events of X-Men: The Last Stand, in which he was forced to kill Jean Grey, the woman he loved, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is flying solo, left in a serious existential funk regarding not only his mysterious past, but his mutant-healing-factor-endowed immortality. While it's a state that many people would covet, for this Wolverine, he realizes that anyone he tries to befriend or love will grow old and die in front of him.
At his lowest point, an old flame summons Logan to Japan for mysterious purposes. However, the Land of the Rising Sun has plenty more in store for our ambivalent ass-kicker than he could possibly imagine. It seems that Logan's former love, Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto) has been whisked back to her home country and was forced by her crime boss father, Shingen Yashida (Hiroyuki Sanada) into a sinister marriage of convenience with one of his criminal associates, Noburo Mori (Brian Tee). Despite her own feelings of obligation to her father, Mariko reaches out to Logan in a move that would undoubtedly lead to a whirlwind of adamantium-aligned destruction when he arrives in full Wolverine mode.
With Mariko unsure where her loyalties lie, Logan becomes the primary target for her vengeful father's ire, thrusting him into battles with his honor-obsessed sword-swinging subordinates, crimson-clad ninja clan, The Hand, and Mariko's powerful mutant half-brother, The Silver Samurai (Will Yun Lee). However, things get even more interesting when a mysterious and beautiful assassin named Yukio (Rila Fukushima) injects herself into the colossal cluster of crises when she lends her help to Logan. While her overall motives may be questionable, one thing is clear: She's got the hots for our hero, compounding this dire dilemma with a possible love triangle.
What We Expect:
Based on the 1982 Wolverine comic book miniseries by Frank Miller, which put the character on the map as an A-lister for Marvel, this film is looking to be an exploration of Logan's soul. He is now truly a Ronin: A samurai warrior without a master. For the first time, he's left to deal with the implications of his own immortaility amidst this bloody love crisis. Yet, this adventure, despite its potential for more heartache for the already-depressed Logan, could very well serve to invigorate his fighting spirit.
Replacing the initially-coveted Darren Aronofsky at the helm is James Mangold, who directed Jackman in the 2001 time-travel-infused romcom, Kate & Leopold. However, the director will bring his sensibilities for both pathos-pounding drama and intense action as we've seen in his films, Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma. Not weighed down by either the team dynamics of the X-Men films or even obligatory origin exposition of 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this film will delicately balance Logan's internal strife, all while juggling samurai sword duels and shish-kebobbing gangs of ninjas.
For Jackman, this seems to be the deep, dramatic Wolverine film that he's been trying to get made for years upon years. With Wolverine's next trip to the big screen already set in 2014 with X-Men: Days of Future Past, this film could make an important creative statement about what's to come for the X-Men film franchise. This is especially true with 20th Century Fox studio now looking to emulate a kind of cohesiveness between its comic book films in the same successful way that Marvel Studios has done with their Avengers-related films.
For more info on The Wolverine, check out the official site.
Be sure to check out more of G4's 2013 movie previews throughout the month of January.