[UPDATE: As requested by Fox, we have removed the images, sorry.]
An Australian press conference was held for the beginning of production next week on Wolverine 2 (officially titled The Wolverine), with Hugh Jackman and Australian prime minister Julia Gillard in attendance. The award-winning showman expressed his enduring fondness for the titular character (a.k.a. Logan), and offered his condolences about last week’s Colorado massacre at a Dark Knight Rises midnight screening.
Photographers were allowed to snap up pictures of the Wolverine set, which will compliment the film’s on-location shooting in Japan. The delayed X-Men movie is partially based on Chris Claremont’s popular Wolverine comic mini-series from the 1980s (it primarily takes place in metropolitan areas of Japan).
Images from the Wolverine set reveal miniature models, mid-construction molds, and a board plastered with concept art/photos – all pointing to the final product being a WW II era prison of war camp. The Leader is confirming that assessment, with the revelation that Bonna Point Reserve is going to be “temporarily occupied” for the first couple days of shooting on Wolverine 2 (beginning July 30th).
[Sidenote: Check out the painterly image of a Samurai warrior - wielding their sword against a dying evening sky - fixed prominently near the top of the concept art board.]
Claremont’s Wolverine source story plumbs the depth of Logan’s mindset, painting him as a modern Samurai warrior, who’s regressed into a cynical loner wandering the world. We have an inkling as to how the film adaptation deviates from the brooding, sporadically violent, nature of Claremont’s mini-series – what with Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard) rewriting Christopher McQuarrie’s original script draft, presumably with the intent of upping the action ante. There was also recent news of an altered role for Wolvie femme fatale, Viper (to be played by Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova, it seems).
There appears to be an added scene where we flashback to Wolvie in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during WW II – assuming that’s the setting teased in the above set photos. Couple that with the Samurai concept art picture mentioned before, and Wolverine 2 director James Mangold is carrying over (at least) some of the most interesting thematic ideas found in Claremont’s comic book.
The Wolverine opens in U.S. theaters on July 26th, 2013.