The Wolverine is one of the mostly anticipated movies of the summer, and fans are hoping a return to form for Marvel’s fiercest merry mutant, and star Hugh Jackman is hoping for the same.
“I’m thrilled the studio called it The Wolverine instead of Wolverine 2, because we’re trying to set it up as a standalone picture,” Jackman says in a recent interview with Total Film (via Comic Book Movie) magazine. “Tonally, it’s different from the other X-Men movies. It’s got massive action sequences, as people would expect, and it’ll be great fun. But it is a character-driven movie. It’s about a guy completely out of his element, in this world that’s foreign to him, and how he copes with that. I feel like we have the opportunity to deliver that badass, kick-ass Wolverine I know everybody wants to see.”
And don’t think Jackman’s lost much in the 13 years since he first played the character. A lot of people thought there was some Photoshopped assistance in that publicity still, but Jackman’s co-star Will Yun Lee, who’s rumored to be playing the villain Silver Samurai in the film, says believe the hype.
“I’ve seen playbacks of Hugh fighting different characters in the movie he’s no joke! He’s probably in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in all the X-Mens,” he says. “The fighting style in the this movie is very Japanese-specific. The movie’s stunt team 8711 is probably one of the best in the business. In training they beat me up all day and I could barely even walk home! Because we’re dealing with weapons like swords and Wolverine’s claws, even though they’re fake, you’re still just a fraction away from getting hurt or getting hit in the eye…I was like, ‘Oh my god, I better not miss my timing.'”
But is the viciousness of the fight going to be a pain for The Wolverine once the ratings board gets a hold of it? Director James Mangold doesn’t think so. “I don’t tend to think of that per se,” he says. “But I do want the movie to have an intensity. I don’t want it to feel just like a CG fest. I think so much of what’s badass about Wolverine is his physicality: the sweat, blood, passion and anger. What we trying to do in terms of the action is restore, or even for the first time kind of explore his physicality on a more visceral level.”
In other news, Mangold confirmed through his Twitter account (via Geek Tyrant) that The Wolverine trailer will be coming out in front of G.I. Joe: Retaliation on March 27.
Meanwhile, to tide you over, here are some more images from film.
The Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman, 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.