James Mangold Teases ‘Wolverine’ Japanese Influence, Violence and Trailer

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hugh jackman wolverine James Mangold Teases Wolverine Japanese Influence, Violence and Trailer

In the absence of an official trailer, The Wolverine director James Mangold – with assistance from newly-appointed Fox Marvel Movie Universe overseer Mark Millar – has devoted a fair amount of time and effort to hyping the project by just talking about the movie. That includes engaging in a live chat with star Hugh Jackman and interviews where Mangold breaks down the Japanese influence of the (not really) standalone X-Men installment.

Mangold is promising that a trailer is arriving sooner, rather than later, following his Twitter statement from last year (claiming an “early 2013″ date for the teaser). However, until that happens, he’s sharing even more insight about the film’s Asian-inspiration and how he’s not aiming so much for a certain rating as he is intensity-level with the portrayal of violence in The Wolverine.

Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie’s original Wolverine script (based partially on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s famous Japan-set comic mini-series from the 1980s) laid the foundation for what he intended as “[Japanese director Akira] Kurosawa’s Wolverine.” However, that was prior to Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard) coming aboard for a rewrite, so there’s since been reason to wonder how much Mangold’s film retains the Samurai cinema influence (as embodied in the first script draft from McQuarrie).

Here’s what Mangold told MTV, about the Eastern-flavor of Wolverine:

“There is a significant amount of Japanese spoken in the movie, and the cast is almost entirely Japanese. So there is this wonderful sense of cross-pollination between a very Western character and a far Eastern culture, and I think it’s very cool and something we haven’t seen so far. I think there is a lot of ways that Japanese film, Japanese fighting, Japanese martial arts have had an effect on this movie. And certainly the movie is dripping with Japanese tradition both cinematically, fighting-wise and philosophically as well.”

The Wolverine High Res Photo 570x379 James Mangold Teases Wolverine Japanese Influence, Violence and Trailer

On the topic of Wolvie’s violent tendencies in Mangold’s film:

“The whole point is not about violence or rating; it’s about intensity. I wanted to make a film that in a way captures the intensity of his character. One of the things that has always been a feature of Wolverine in the comics is that he has a berserker rage, that he has anger and some of his abilities are driven by something more primal. Honestly, to get really pissed off — not cute pissed off, not quippy pissed off, not funny pissed off or cigar-chomping pissed off, just pissed off — that can then help drive the fighting, drive the combat. That is interesting for me and then for the character, some of the jet fuel underneath some of the combat in the film.”

There was a time when Jackman was proposing an R-Rated Wolverine cut (no pun intended), claiming he and Mangold were talking about producing two different cuts of the film (essentially, a PG-13 version for theaters and an Unrated take for DVD and Blu-ray release). It’s possible, if not likely, that nothing will come of that, but the creative mindset it points to is a welcome one, especially after the X-Men Origins: Wolverine installment and its hokey action movie throwback feel.

As for the trailer: Mangold admits, “For me, I’m not the marketing department of Fox, but for my own tastes, less is more,” and references the degree of awareness surrounding the Wolverine character. It’s a good point, but don’t be surprised if Fox ignores it and instead releases a more revelatory Wolverine trailer. (Complete with now-customary Inception-style percussive booms?)

For more, check out the full MTV interview with Mangold.


The Wolverine is directed by James Mangold, from Mark Bomback and Christopher McQuarrie’s screenplay. It stars Hugh Jackman, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Rila Fukushima.

The Wolverine hits theaters July 26th, 2013. X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18th, 2014.


“Wolverine” Header Image via Empire

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  1. Wait, so the marking department cuts the trailer? Not director? Is that normal?

    • Yes, Yes it is.

      • Is there a reason for that? Or just to give away the movie in hopes people will see go?

        • Because trailers are commercials and marketing dept. handle those in every business.

        • yeah I hate how much stuff trailers reveal nowadays. I mean in the trailer for Broken City for example you see like 90% of the movie in the trailer. That the movie sucked is another discussion entirely. But alot of movies have big plot points and twists given away in their trailers! Thats ridiculous.

          • Totally agree with you,I hate that so much !
            A trailer was a teaser of things you can expect,and normally they never showed it all or the best parts,but recently times changed :(

            In best memory

            Prometheus – even the alien ship crashing on surface was in :(
            Die hard 5 – seems the very and Willis and Son walking out is in

            There are many more,and trailers are getting more and more revealing ! Guess Competition is doing this to them !

  2. I love how he said “Intense” and not dark…..

    • I agree that may be a good sign for the movie in the end

      • since the movie is going to be intents I guess that’d make Wolverine have great energy, strength, concentration, vehemence, etc., as of activity, thought, or feelings maybe thats what the movie is going to be like when it comes out

  3. Lol on the Inception thing. I wonder who’s idea at WB it was?
    Anyway, although there hasn’t been a massive marketing push for this, i like the director’s previous work. So i look forward to this.

  4. They’ve made a huge mistake waiting so long to release a trailer. People who don’t keep up with movie news have no clue probably this movie is being made. And it is supposed to come out this summer. No hype for this movie whatsoever.

  5. Does anyone else see the first picture, of Wolverine in the well, showing him having his old bone claws? 2nd picture shows him with his classic adamantium ones. This seems to tie in with speculation on his newfound limitations that will be explored in the film…

    • That´s probably a flashback.

    • They showed them filming the parts of the film where he was in a Japanese POW camp in WW2. Even if they discount Origins altogether most accounts of Logan’s origin show him getting the Adamantium in the 70′s.

      • Yeah, Origins isn´t canon anymore, so I guess they´ll have to explore some of his past. And hopefully properly this time.

    • yea I saw that too and I thought this was going to make the seem to familiar to X-Men Origins

  6. Hugh Jackman more pissed off than before? He already acts like a 100% ferocious animal whenever he gets mad and it scares a lot of people to see just how animalistic he becomes. This is going to be jaw-dropping

  7. This was really cool, he didnt come across like most directors who clichedly (I dont think thats a word but it will suffice lol) hype up their films with the same generic remarks and responses. It sounds like hes put alot of thought and work into this. This could very well be the Wolverine movie weve been waiting for.

  8. OH and FINALLY someone who casts primarily Japanese for a film set in Japan.

    • haha yeah that’s thoughtful of them. That was my only problem with Valkyrie, all the germans were played by british actors speaking english haha

  9. I love percussive booms! Can’t wait for the trailer.

  10. Oh man, I have a feeling this movie will be more like “The Last Samurai” Can’t wait!!

  11. I cant wait for the trailer either and i really want to see this movie

  12. Thanks for commenting on the R rated thing, I’ve been wondering about that for a while. Hope it’s good, I’ve subscribed to Wolverine the comic for a long time now and have collected almost all 300 of them. Hope a movie can finally do him some justice.

  13. I might have figured out something…
    This movie takes place after The X-Men Trilogy and before Days of Future Past…
    Wolverine will lose his healing ability (not all of it) because of the sword (like in the comics), from Adamantium Claws to his Bone Claws because somehow the Adamantium was removed? (not by magneto?) or these are just flashbacks, linking with Origins afterstory…?

    • Hugh Jackman did say that someone well known from the previous trilogy would be in the movie. Perhaps Magneto removes his adamantium?

      • I don´t see that happening. It looks like he´s wearing Army uniform pants in the first pic, so it´s most likely a flashback.
        And who said he´ll lose his mutant powers? That´s the first time I hear that, and I´ve read all the news about this film so far.

  14. gotta be flashbacks dude. if they take away his adamantium that would epically suck.

  15. I heard the trailer is going to appear in front of a good day to die hard

    • Gentlemen, you had my curiosity, and now you have my attention.

  16. I would LOVE an R-Rated Wolverine movie! Wolverine at his Best :D