Director James Mangold's The Wolverine is highly-anticipated among Wolvie and X-Men fans alike, for reasons concerning how it serve as a bridge from X-Men: The Last Stand to the time-jumping First Class sequel, subtitled Days of Future Past, in combination with promises that Mangold and star Hugh Jackman are creating the definitive representation of Logan (following the swing-and-miss attempt with X-Men Origins: Wolverine).
We'll see if everyone agrees with that idea, beginning with the trailer launching near the end of next month. In the meantime, though, we have yet another image teasing the film's neo-Noir atmosphere and portrayal of Logan as a modern-day Ronin haunted by his past.
Previous Wolverine images, be they featuring Jackman shirtless or dressing with style (adamantium claws on display), illustrate the shadow blue hues and darker colors that reflect Logan's internal turmoil, as he grieves after Jean Grey's death in The Last Stand; not to mention, the Japanese setting and artistic influences which Mangold claims the movie is "dripping" with. The latest photo unveiled through the film's official Twitter feed includes all that, with Jackman looking angry as ever - plus, a description teasing "The past is always behind you, but the memories still remain."
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This is my personal favorite of all the Wolverine images so far, but there is always going to be an air of uncertainty for me before sitting down and finding out if the actual film lives up to all the hype. So far, though, there haven't been any major warning signs. That include Fox holding back on the trailer, which is just something the studio tends to do with its summer blockbusters (if you recall, both X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes went an equally long time before the first footage was unveiled).
It appears that Mangold is carrying over much of the substance from Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie's original script (which fashioned the film as "Kurosawa's Wolverine"), so that is encouraging. It also indicates many of the change made by screenwriter Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard) could just be focused more on strengthing the connection to the greater X-Men universe - for better or worse - and not dumbing down what McQuarrie was planning, back when Darren Aronofsky was onboard as director.
The Wolverine is directed by James Mangold, from Mark Bomback and Christopher McQuarrie’s screenplay. It stars Hugh Jackman, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Rila Fukushima.
The Wolverine hits theaters July 26th, 2013. X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18th, 2014.