It’s no secret that one of the most maligned superhero adaptations in recent memory is 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was ravaged by critics and moviegoers who were displeased with the butchering of fan-favorite characters (the less we say about Deadpool, the better), sloppy production values, and a poor script. The general consensus was it was just a mess of a movie and an overall disappointment.
Looking for a reprieve, Fox has made the smart decision to distance the second Wolverine film from the first and position it as a standalone film - not a direct sequel. Since it takes place after the original X-Men trilogy, The Wolverine will still have to acknowledge the events of the prior movies (Jean Grey makes a brief appearance), but director James Mangold has made a point to explain that his movie “stands alone” and is about Wolverine’s next journey.
Serving as a quasi-reboot of sorts, The Wolverine’s standalone approach will hopefully win the studio some audience goodwill - as Fox looks to rebuild the X-Men franchise.