It's been a rough year for The Wolverine (a.k.a. Wolverine 2), between losing Darren Aronofsky as director, having its originally-planned production timeline disrupted by the Japanese earthquake/tsunami, and recent reports that its start of filming may be delayed until next spring, while star Hugh Jackman works on the musical Les Miserables adaptation instead.
The rumors of a delay-in-production may be true after all, based on the latest Wolverine-related story - Fox has hired on Mark Bomback to rework Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie's screenplay for the X-Men spinoff sequel.
Bomback has been quite busy of late, between working on the script for Len Wiseman's Total Recall remake and Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Killer (which McQuarrie also worked on). He also previously scripted the Jackman vehicle Deception, but is arguably still best known for writing Live Free or Die Hard.
Variety (which was responsible for this scoop) mentions that The Wolverine will follow Jackman's Logan as he goes "searching for answers" about his past, being unable to recall anything - due to being afflicted with amnesia, after taking an adamantium bullet (or two) to the head, at the conclusion of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Part of that search takes Wolvie into the Japanese underworld, where he will confront the likes of the Silver Samurai (a.k.a. Kenuichio Harada) - and eventually cross paths with what Variety describes as a "newly-expanded" character known as Viper, the Japanese Minister of Justice's secretary.
Would that happen to be Viper, a.k.a. Madame Hydra?
Getting back to... Bomback: If we assume that he is doing a fairly extensive rewrite of The Wolverine - and not just polish work or altering the setting of certain scenes, to accommodate the changes in production locale - then it makes sense to assume that Fox brought him onboard to up the action ante and add some additional material that features Wolvie clashing with deadly ninjas or wrecking havoc on his surroundings. That would be kind of a disappointment, if true - especially for the fans who were hoping for more of a cerebral and gritty Wolverine sequel - like Jackman has been promising.
Current Wolverine 2 director James Mangold was at the helm of the well-regarded 3:10 to Yuma remake - and staged some competent action set pieces in last year's otherwise lackluster Knight and Day - so he could deliver a solid X-Men flick, even if Bomback's rewrite does turn the project into more of a mainstream popcorn movie. Still, it's hard to not be at all concerned that the final result will be yet another unimpressive Wolverine standalone adventure.
We will keep you posted on the status of The Wolverine as more information is released.