James Mangold Talks ‘The Wolverine': How Closely He Followed The Source Material & Why It’s Set After The Other X-Men Films
James Mangold gave a lengthy interview with Entertainment Weekly, where he talked more about his upcoming film, The Wolverine. During the interview, he shared the reasons behind setting this flick in the period of time after X-Men: The Last Stand (but it’s not a sequel, if that makes sense). He also discusses his use of the source material when adapting this story for the big screen.
It’s quite a lengthy interview that’s worth checking out if you’re interested in the happs in this scene; just head on over to Entertainment Weekly for the whole shebang. We’ll share with you some of the highlights and key takeaways from his conversation with EW that specifically relate to The Wolverine.
How closely do you follow the Claremont/Miller comic book series that inspired this movie? Sampling the vibe and some images?
It’s definitely more. 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.
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So why did you choose to set yours after all those others?
Because of some of the themes in the Claremont/Miller saga. 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.
That’s quite interesting, because it opens up the doors to explore the core of who he is. I wonder how well they’ll do this. We’ll pretend that… other Wolverine movie didn’t exist. It does sound like they’re looking to get quite deep into the character, especially with these answers:
Then it was important for him to have that baggage from the previous movies?
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.
Sounds like you’re leaning hard on the despair of this character.
What I wrote on the back of the script when I first read it was “Everyone I love will die.” The story I’ve been telling, he enters it believing that. Therefore he’s living in a kind of isolation. He gets drawn to Japan by an old friendship and then finds himself in a labyrinth of deceit, caught up in the agendas of mobsters, of wealth, and other powers we come to understand.
The Wolverine will be out in theaters on July 26, 2013, in about 6 and a half months. What do you guys think so far? Are you starting to feel the excitement, or are you just kinda like, “eh, I’ll believe it when I see it”?