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Director James Mangold explains The Wolverine's place in X-Men continuity; calls it akin to The Outlaw Josey Wales

Jan. 9, 2013by: Alejandro Stepenberg

The Wolverine sun banner 2

James Mangold gets it.  He's always been a solid director visually, and from this recent interview (as well as past comments about the character), I'd say that Mangold has Logan down cold.  Which all of a sudden gives anyone interested in this movie a whole lot more to look forward to.

I'll add a caveat here by saying that I'm not a reader of Wolverine comics, so my opinion may be less than valid to some of you.  But from what I've interpolated of the character, from what I've felt and seen and imagined in response to all that I've heard, Mangold seems to me to be most definitely on the right track.  It's all well and good to want to do right by a character for their own sake, but I'd say that Mangold definitely understands the character.  They say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but I would say that the road to Heaven is much the same. 

Is a kind of cinematic heaven and collective sigh of relief coming for fans of Logan? Only time will tell, as THE WOLVERINE isn't set to arrive in cinemas until July 26th.

"It’s set after 'X-Men 3', but I wouldn’t call it a sequel to 'X-Men 3'," said Mangold. "...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."

The Wolverine bone claws still

"What I wrote on the back of the script when I first read it was 'Everyone I love will die,'" Mangold continued. "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... What I felt like I hadn’t seen as a comic book fan, was I felt I hadn’t seen Logan and his rage. That sense of darkness. Without getting into the [2009] Wolverine movie, which is an origin story, with the X-Men movies he’s part of a team, so he gets little scenelets, but they’re essentially team movies. The liberty I have making a film like this is I can find him.  I’m not cutting away to catch you up on any of the Thunderbird team members. It’s his emotional experience, his trajectory, his sense of loss, and his own ambivalence about his powers and talents... There is a labyrinth of intrigue he enters, but the story is very simple, which is protecting those he loves from the kind of doom that seems to surround him. That’s a lot of what I’m really interested in."

As for that JOSEY WALES analogy, Mangold explains that what brings Logan to Japan is "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.

<a href=Jessica Biel beach shoot" width="656" height="656" />

Jessica Biel was almost in THE WOLVERINE, but at the end of the day she's not.  That's okay though - she's here now.

Extra Tidbit: Who do you think most nailed their character in the first three X-Men movies (Hugh Jackman/Wolverine excluded, if you think he'd take the honor)?
Source: EW

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+1
5:43PM on 01/09/2013

Tidbit

Wild card: Kelsey Grammar as Beast. Of course, Stewart, McKellan and Jackman all nailed their comic counterparts.
Wild card: Kelsey Grammar as Beast. Of course, Stewart, McKellan and Jackman all nailed their comic counterparts.
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+0
5:42PM on 01/09/2013

Tidbit

Wild card: Kelsey Grammar as Beast. Of course, Stewart, McKellan and Jackman all nailed their comic counterparts.
Wild card: Kelsey Grammar as Beast. Of course, Stewart, McKellan and Jackman all nailed their comic counterparts.
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4:39PM on 01/09/2013

Every time Mangold talks...

I get unbelievably hyped for this film. This keeps getting better and better and I can't wait to see Wolverine actually act like Wolverine for the first time since 2003. If the raw emotion and the atmosphere from Claremont and Miller's book is there, then this'll probably be the best X-Men related film to come out.
I get unbelievably hyped for this film. This keeps getting better and better and I can't wait to see Wolverine actually act like Wolverine for the first time since 2003. If the raw emotion and the atmosphere from Claremont and Miller's book is there, then this'll probably be the best X-Men related film to come out.
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12:58PM on 01/09/2013
I can't wait for this.
I can't wait for this.
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10:20AM on 01/09/2013

Its REFRESHING...

to see the inspiring model is a 37 years old western movie and not a 2-3 years old superhero movie, not to mention that western being a completely Badass Eastwood classic! Sounds like Mangold really DOES get the psyche of the character, here's hoping the Josey Wales comparision will be apt and we'll now be getting a similarly badass Wolverine classic (finally!).

E T: A tie between Magneto & Proff. X. Duh.
to see the inspiring model is a 37 years old western movie and not a 2-3 years old superhero movie, not to mention that western being a completely Badass Eastwood classic! Sounds like Mangold really DOES get the psyche of the character, here's hoping the Josey Wales comparision will be apt and we'll now be getting a similarly badass Wolverine classic (finally!).

E T: A tie between Magneto & Proff. X. Duh.
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9:40AM on 01/09/2013
As for the Extra Tidbit. yes, Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart are so great together. I wished that cyclops and Wolverine got more screen time together. James Marsden was robbed of his role.
As for the Extra Tidbit. yes, Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart are so great together. I wished that cyclops and Wolverine got more screen time together. James Marsden was robbed of his role.
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9:38AM on 01/09/2013
The thing I love most of Wolverine is the emotion. Sure he's a tough guy and all, but there's so much emotion in him, and it seems that Mangold has gotten a lock on it. I am so excited, and cannot wait for a trailer.
The thing I love most of Wolverine is the emotion. Sure he's a tough guy and all, but there's so much emotion in him, and it seems that Mangold has gotten a lock on it. I am so excited, and cannot wait for a trailer.
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9:20AM on 01/09/2013
Good so see a comic book movie pulling inspiration from a great classic and not TDK. But, The Outlaw Josey Wales was a dark gritty film, so people might still claim that "The Wolverine is just trying to be dark and gritty like TDK" regardless. Because you know, those type of films never existed before TDK.
Good so see a comic book movie pulling inspiration from a great classic and not TDK. But, The Outlaw Josey Wales was a dark gritty film, so people might still claim that "The Wolverine is just trying to be dark and gritty like TDK" regardless. Because you know, those type of films never existed before TDK.
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+11
8:25AM on 01/09/2013
So it's Wolverine meets The Outlaw Josey Wales? I'm there! Extra tidbit: Patrick Stewart (Prof. X) and Ian MacKellen (Magneto) - their chemistry is very natural.
So it's Wolverine meets The Outlaw Josey Wales? I'm there! Extra tidbit: Patrick Stewart (Prof. X) and Ian MacKellen (Magneto) - their chemistry is very natural.
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8:22AM on 01/09/2013
This could be a lot of fun. Here's hoping The Wolverine ends up being fantastic.
side note: I too agree that Kelsey and Alan did great jobs with their characters as well did Patrick Stewart even though he felt somewhat underused to me as well.
This could be a lot of fun. Here's hoping The Wolverine ends up being fantastic.
side note: I too agree that Kelsey and Alan did great jobs with their characters as well did Patrick Stewart even though he felt somewhat underused to me as well.
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+13
8:11AM on 01/09/2013

Tidbit

Patrick Stewart as Professor X. That guy does theatre in the park, he can pretty much do anything.
Patrick Stewart as Professor X. That guy does theatre in the park, he can pretty much do anything.
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+4
8:07AM on 01/09/2013
Can someone explain if this movie takes place after X-Men 3 or Origins, how could Wolverine have bone claws?
Can someone explain if this movie takes place after X-Men 3 or Origins, how could Wolverine have bone claws?
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8:34AM on 01/09/2013
there can still be flashbacks.
there can still be flashbacks.
8:01AM on 01/09/2013

Excited for this flick

encourging words, cant wait. TIDBIT: i think Alan Cumming and Kelsey Grammer really nailed Nightcrawler and Beast respectivly although they ended up being underused.
encourging words, cant wait. TIDBIT: i think Alan Cumming and Kelsey Grammer really nailed Nightcrawler and Beast respectivly although they ended up being underused.
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5:43PM on 01/09/2013
ah dang, i didn't see someone already wrote about Beast. whelp, I agee!
ah dang, i didn't see someone already wrote about Beast. whelp, I agee!
7:28AM on 01/09/2013

He gets it

"What I felt like I hadnt seen as a comic book fan, was I felt I hadnt seen Logan and his rage. That sense of darkness."

Finally someone gets what fans want to see, you know what we want and what needs to be done. Now you've just got to deliver. I'm pumped to see how this turns out.
"What I felt like I hadnt seen as a comic book fan, was I felt I hadnt seen Logan and his rage. That sense of darkness."

Finally someone gets what fans want to see, you know what we want and what needs to be done. Now you've just got to deliver. I'm pumped to see how this turns out.
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