[UPDATE: It turns out this is a concept art design that will most likely not be used in the marketing for the film.]

Twentieth Century Fox has successfully split their X-Men film franchise into two. The X-Men: First Class sequel is already in development, launching a new set of team-based prequels to the original trilogy and at the same time, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was able to secure a franchise of its own for poster boy Hugh Jackman.

Come next summer and Jackman will finally get his wish of being able to play the Adamantium-laced, rage-infused mutant on his travels to Japan in The Wolverine, something the Aussie actor had to delay in order to tell the character’s origin story first. Today, we have what may be the first teaser poster for the film.

The Wolverine has had a bit of a bumpy development road with some slight delays due to the weather situation in Japan, compounded by director Darren Aronofsky dropping out of the project for personal reasons.

With James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma) now set to helm the feature based on Christopher McQuarrie and Mark Bomback’s adaptation of the classic Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s 1982 story arc in the Wolverine comics, production is on the right track with a solid release date locked down for next summer.

It is from Mangold’s offices where our first look at The Wolverine may have leaked through an Instagram photo which we’ve straightened out for a clearer image. Check out what may be the first teaser poster for The Wolverine, featuring the Japan flag in the background being sliced by Wolverine’s claws.

The Japanese words for “Japan” are Nippon (most commonly used) and Nihon which translate to “Land of the Rising Sun,” hence the design Japan’s national flag and the tagline in the teaser poster reading “rising soon.”

The style of the poster screams ’80s (when the Japanese story arc was told in the books) and its simplicity and font of the title work very well to get the message across to fans knowledgeable of the books and fans who simply enjoy Jackman’s take on the character in the films.

We’ve contacted Fox to verify the validity of the image and will update accordingly.

The Wolverine slashes into theaters July 26, 2013.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes if you’re an X-fan.

Source: Instagram