517849060 3 620 439 The Wolverine Featurettes: Logan is Ronin

With Man of Steel having made its run and banked its cash, fanboy attention – and corporate marketing – have turned toward the next big superhero movie of summer 2013, Fox’s The Wolverine. The latest installment in the X-Men movie franchise is going the Iron Man 3 route – i.e., only sustaining a loose connection to the films that preceded it and opting for a more standalone story that examines the titular character’s search for new identity while also dealing with the loss of his powers.

After a some increasingly impressive trailers, our own extensive interviews with cast and crew, and an extended fight clip that hinted at some of the 3D action (and unrealistic physics) that audiences can expect, today we have not one but two new Wolverine featurettes that examine the character of Logan (Hugh Jackman) as we find him – disheveled and hairy – after the tragic turns of X-Men: The Last Stand.

517849063 3 620 439 The Wolverine Featurettes: Logan is Ronin

Clearly director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma) is choosing to put his own stamp on the classic “Wolverine in Japan” storyline first concocted by writer Chris Claremont and artist Frank Miller (Sin City) in the 1982 Wolverine limited series comic book. This movie version contains the same traces of character exploration (Wolverine learning a Samurai code to balance out his bestial nature), but of course some big blockbuster spectacles have been added to the mix to keep things (fun?) for the general masses.

We could talk about the massive Silver Samurai armor, or the inclusion of a blonde-haired Lady Viper and a red-haired Yukio, but since these featurettes focus squarely on Logan himself, I’ll say that Hugh Jackman (despite his height) looks as into the part as he’s ever been – with the physicality to match. That reason alone should make The Wolverine a much better experience than the lackluster X-Men Origins: Wolverine – but as you can see in the quick snippets of footage included in the featurettes, there will definitely be some ninja/samurai/Yakuza/mutant action to give the movie a strong pulse.

The Wolverine will be in theaters on July 19, 2013.

Sources: Fox & HBO