News on The Wolverine has come fast and furious this week, culminating in the release of the film's first trailer. That footage, of course, confirms that the plot will center largely on Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) trip to Japan as he comes to grips with his immortality and potentially loses his mutant healing factor.
However, the new footage also revealed that Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) will make an appearance in some form. Jackman had previously teased that The Wolverine would feature an X-Men cameo, and Janssen herself has played coy when addressing rumors that her character – despite her death at Wolverine's hands in X-Men: The Last Stand – would return to the franchise.
Now Jackman, in an interview with MTV, has spoken out about the role Jean Grey plays in The Wolverine. Here's what he had to say:
"There's no doubt that the most important relationship in his life is — we've seen through the movies — is his relationship with Jean Grey. Yes, we saw her die at the end of 'X-Men: The Last Stand,' but in this movie, she has a presence which I think is vital to the movie, particularly for him confronting the most difficult thing within himself."
The actor – fresh from his Oscar-nominated role in Les Miserables – declined to elaborate on exactly how Jean Grey's 'presence' will be felt. Yet, be it a flashback, dream or genuine resurrection, Janssen's involvement certainly bodes well for her potential return in X-Men: Days of Future Past. In the original X-Men trilogy, Logan's love for Jean Grey fueled his motivation to join the team in the first place. So her inclusion here is perfectly in keeping with that character's arc in a post-Last Stand world.
That journey will also include a breathtaking action sequence atop a speeding bullet train. Jackman also discussed what shooting that scene entailed.
"It is insane. It was insane to shoot it. It was, again, one of those brilliant ideas. One of the most emblematic things about Japan is the bullet train. I can't go on the bullet train without any incident. It was hairy, shooting that stuff. To re-create what that is like, the kind of winds at 300 miles per hour, let me just say, looking back at some of the footage, I thought, 'It's time for a facelift.' "
Hopes remain high that The Wolverine can live up to expectations and especially that it will make up for the disappointment of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The fact that Logan's past will come back to haunt him is definitely a step in the right direction, as is the inclusion of the kind of frenetic action befitting Logan's intensity in battle. Berserker rage, anyone?
The Wolverine hits theaters July 26, 2013. X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18th, 2014.