While The Wolverine is technically a sequel to a prequel/spin-off, 20th Century Fox and Hugh Jackman want “it to be placed and feel like a standalone picture”. Jackman spoke these words in the latest issue of Total Film magazine, and the decision was likely to create distance between the new film and X-Men Origins: Wolverine which wasn’t that well received, despite making tonnes of money.
Jackman also told us to expect fewer mutants in the next outing:
“We’ve deliberately not called it Wolverine 2 because we want it to be placed and feel like a standalone picture. With an all-new cast and setting it in Japan, it’s going to give us a whole new visual aesthetic. The approach to character means we won’t be overloaded with mutants and teams and the like, so it’ll be more character-based. I think in many ways it will feel like a completely different X-Men film.”
The addition of mutants such as Deadpool, Emma Frost, Cyclops, and Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was most likely to combat the fact Wolverine was going solo and his power display isn’t that impressive from a marketing perspective. Origins felt like an X-Men film, but it sounds like The Wolverine will just be focusing on the title character with little connection to previous entries in the X-Men franchise. Those wanting their mutant fix have no need to worry, as X-Men: Days of Future Past should be packed with evolved people.
The script, written by The Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie, takes Wolverine to Japan where he falls for a woman named Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord. James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) is directing, and shooting is currently under-way in Australia.