The Wolverine (film)

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The Wolverine
The Wolverine posterUS.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Mangold
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Wolverine
by Chris Claremont
Frank Miller
Starring
Music by Marco Beltrami
CinematographyRoss Emery
Edited by Michael McCusker
Production
companies
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 26, 2013 (2013-07-26)(United States)
Running time
126 minutes [1]
Country
  • United States
  • United Kingdom [N 1]
Language
  • English
  • Japanese
Budget$100–132 million [7] [8] [9]
Box office$414.8 million [10]

The Wolverine is a 2013 superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine. The film, distributed by 20th Century Fox, is the sixth installment in the X-Men film series and the second film of the Wolverine solo film series. Hugh Jackman reprises his role from previous films as the title character, with James Mangold directing a screenplay written by Scott Frank and Mark Bomback, based on the 1982 limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. In the film, which follows the events of X-Men: The Last Stand , Logan travels to Japan, where he engages an old acquaintance in a struggle that has lasting consequences. Stripped of his healing factor, Wolverine must battle deadly samurai while struggling with guilt over Jean Grey's death.

Superhero film Film genre

A superhero film, superhero movie or superhero motion picture is a film that is focused on the actions of one or more superheroes: individuals who usually possess superhuman abilities relative to a normal person and are dedicated to protecting the public. These films typically feature action, adventure, fantasy or science fiction elements, with the first film of a particular character often including a focus on the origin of their special powers and their first confrontation with their most famous supervillain or archenemy.

Marvel Comics Company that publishes comic books and related media

Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company.

Wolverine (character) Comic book character

Wolverine is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, mostly in association with the X-Men. He is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, powerful regenerative ability known as a healing factor, and three retractable claws in each hand. Wolverine has been depicted variously as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the Avengers.

Contents

The film's development began in 2009 after the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine . Christopher McQuarrie was hired to write a screenplay for The Wolverine in August 2009. In October 2010, Darren Aronofsky was hired to direct the film. The project was delayed following Aronofsky's departure and the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. In June 2011, Mangold was brought on board to replace Aronofsky. Bomback was then hired to rewrite the screenplay in September 2011. The supporting characters were cast in July 2012 with principal photography beginning at the end of the month around New South Wales before moving to Tokyo in August 2012 and back to New South Wales in October 2012. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.

<i>X-Men Origins: Wolverine</i> 2009 action superhero film directed by Gavin Hood

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a 2009 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics fictional character Wolverine. It is the fourth installment of the X-Men film series and the first spin-off of its standalone Wolverine trilogy. The film was directed by Gavin Hood, written by David Benioff and Skip Woods, and produced by and stars Hugh Jackman. It co-stars Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, will.i.am and Ryan Reynolds. The film is a prequel / spin-off focusing on the violent past of the mutant Wolverine and his relationship with his half-brother Victor Creed. The plot details Wolverine's childhood as James Howlett, his early encounters with Major William Stryker, his time with Team X and the bonding of Wolverine's skeleton with the indestructible metal adamantium during the Weapon X program.

Christopher McQuarrie American screenwriter, producer and director

Christopher McQuarrie is an American screenwriter, director and producer. He received the BAFTA Award, Independent Spirit Award, and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the neo-noir mystery film The Usual Suspects (1995).

Darren Aronofsky Actor and productor

Darren Aronofsky is an American filmmaker and screenwriter, who is noted for his surreal, melodramatic, and often disturbing films.

The Wolverine was released on July 24, 2013, in various international markets and on July 26, 2013, in the United States. It received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for its action sequences, performances (especially Jackman's) and thematic profundity, though some criticism was directed at the predictable story and climax. The film earned $414 million worldwide, making it the fifth highest-grossing film in the series. A third Wolverine film, titled Logan , was released on March 3, 2017.

<i>Logan</i> (film) 2017 film by James Mangold

Logan is a 2017 American superhero film starring Hugh Jackman as the titular character. It is the tenth film in the X-Men film series, as well as the final installment in the Wolverine trilogy, after X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013). The film, which takes inspiration from "Old Man Logan" by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, based in an alternate bleak future, follows an aged Wolverine and an extremely ill Charles Xavier who defend a young mutant named Laura from the villainous Reavers led by Donald Pierce and Zander Rice, respectively. The film is produced by Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment and The Donners' Company, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is directed by James Mangold, who co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Green and Scott Frank, from a story by Mangold. In addition to Jackman, the film also stars Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, and Dafne Keen.

Plot

In August 9, 1945, Logan is held in a Japanese POW camp near Nagasaki. During the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Logan saves an officer named Ichirō Yashida by shielding him from the blast.

Prisoner-of-war camp Site for the containment of combatants captured by their enemy in time of war

A prisoner-of-war camp is a site for the containment of enemy combatants captured by a belligerent power in time of war.

Nagasaki Core city in Kyushu, Japan

Nagasaki is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. It became a centre of colonial Portuguese and Dutch influence in the 16th through 19th centuries, and the Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region have been recognized and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Part of Nagasaki was home to a major Imperial Japanese Navy base during the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the use of atomic weapons by the United States on Japan towards the end of World War II

The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, with the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.

In the present day, Logan lives as a hermit in Yukon, tormented by hallucinations of Jean Grey, whom he was forced to kill to save the world. [N 2] He is located by Yukio, a mutant with the ability to foresee people's deaths, on behalf of Ichirō, now the CEO of a technology zaibatsu. Ichirō, who is dying of cancer, wants Logan to accompany Yukio to Japan so that he may repay his life debt. In Tokyo, Logan meets Ichirō's son, Shingen, and granddaughter, Mariko. There, Ichirō offers to transfer Logan's healing abilities into his own body, thus saving Ichirō's life and alleviating Logan of his near-immortality, which Logan views as a curse. Logan refuses and prepares to leave the following day. That night, Ichirō's physician Dr. Green introduces something into Logan's body, but Logan dismisses it as a dream.

Yukon Territory of Canada

Yukon is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It has the smallest population of any province or territory in Canada, with 35,874 people, although it has the largest city in any of the three territories. Whitehorse is the territorial capital and Yukon's only city.

Jean Grey Telepath of virtually unlimited psychic power

Jean Grey-Summers is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character has been known under the aliases Marvel Girl, Phoenix, and Dark Phoenix. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in The X-Men #1.

Yukio (comics) fictional character in the Marvel Universe

Yukio (雪緒) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is a female ninja of Japanese origin and a supporting character of the X-Men, particularly associated with Wolverine.

The next morning, Yukio informs Logan that Ichirō has died and that she did not foresee his death. At the funeral, Yakuza gangsters attempt to kidnap Mariko, but Logan and Mariko escape together into the urban sprawl of Tokyo. Harada, a Ninja of the Blackfoot clan, shoots off some of the Yakuza with arrows from atop of the city buildings to protect Mariko. Logan is shot and his wounds do not heal as quickly as they should. After fighting off more Yakuza on a bullet train, Logan and Mariko hide in a local love hotel. Meanwhile, Harada meets Dr. Green who, after demonstrating her mutant powers on him, demands he find Logan and Mariko. Logan and Mariko travel to Ichirō's house in Nagasaki, and the two slowly fall in love. Back in Tokyo, Shingen uses the local police to search for Mariko. He also enlists Mariko's fiance Noburo Mori, a corrupt Minister Of Justice, to use his underworld contacts. Shingen expresses to Noburo that he is anxious to find Mariko before Ichiro's will is read in 3 days. Meanwhile, Yukio has a vision of Logan dying and goes to warn him. Before Yukio arrives, Mariko is captured by the Yakuza. After interrogating one of the kidnappers, Logan and Yukio confront Noburo. Noburo confesses that he conspired with Shingen to have Mariko killed because Ichirō left control of the company to Mariko, and not Shingen.

Yakuza Members of traditional transnational organized crime syndicates in Japan

Yakuza, also known as gokudō are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan, while the Yakuza call themselves ninkyō dantai. The English equivalent for the term Yakuza is gangster, meaning an individual involved in a Mafia-like criminal organization. The Yakuza are notorious for their strict codes of conduct, their organized fiefdom nature, and several unconventional ritual practices such as "Yubitsume". Yakuza members are often described as males with heavily tattooed bodies and slicked hair, yet this group is still regarded as being among "the most sophisticated and wealthiest criminal organizations."

Shinkansen High speed train in Japan

The Shinkansen, colloquially known in English as the bullet train, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan. Initially, it was built to connect distant Japanese regions with Tokyo, the capital, in order to aid economic growth and development. Beyond long-distance travel, some sections around the largest metropolitan areas are used as a commuter rail network. It is operated by five Japan Railways Group companies.

Love hotel japanese form of sex hotels

A love hotel is a type of short-stay hotel found around the world operated primarily for the purpose of allowing guests privacy for sexual activities. The name originates from "Hotel Love" in Osaka, which was built in 1968 and had a rotating sign.

Mariko is brought before Shingen at Ichirō's estate where he attempts to kill her. The Blackfoot Ninja led by Harada and accompanied by Dr. Green arrive and attack the compound. Dr. Green stabs Shingen in the neck with a poisoned pen and the Ninja whisk Mariko away. Logan and Yukio arrive later and, using Ichirō's X-ray machine, discover a robotic parasite attached to Logan's heart, suppressing his healing ability. Logan cuts himself open and extracts the device. During the operation, Shingen, who survived Dr. Green's attack, attempts to kill Logan but Yukio holds Shingen off long enough for Logan to recover and kill Shingen. Logan follows Mariko's trail to the village of Ichirō's birth, where he is captured by Harada's ninja. Logan is placed in a machine by Dr. Green, who reveals her plans to extract his healing factor and introduces him to the Silver Samurai, an electromechanical suit of Japanese armor with energized swords made of adamantium. Harada tries to convince Mariko that the events happening are for her well-being but Mariko escapes from Harada by stabbing him in the leg. Harada sees the error of his ways and while attempting to stop the Silver Samurai he is killed.

Meanwhile, Yukio arrives and kills Dr. Green. As Logan fights the Silver Samurai, the Silver Samurai severs Logan's adamantium claws and begins to extract his healing abilities through his bone marrow, revealing himself to be Ichirō, who had faked his death. Ichirō regains his youth, but Mariko intervenes and stabs Ichirō with Logan's severed claws. Logan regenerates his bone claws and kills Ichirō. Logan collapses and has one final hallucination of Jean, in which he decides to finally let her go. Mariko becomes CEO of Yashida Industries and bids farewell to Logan as he prepares to leave Japan. Yukio vows to stay by Logan's side as his bodyguard, and they depart to places unknown.

In a mid-credits scene, Logan returns to the United States two years later and is approached at the airport by Erik Lehnsherr, who warns him of a grave new threat to the mutant race; [N 3] and Charles Xavier, whom Logan previously thought was dead.

Cast

A mutant, whose prodigious healing abilities and adamantium infused skeleton combine to make him virtually immortal. Jackman also portrayed the character in the previous X-Men films. In terms of his character Jackman views Wolverine as "the ultimate outsider" and that "the great battle, I always thought with Wolverine, is the battle within himself". [11] Regarding Logan's struggle with extreme longevity, Jackman said, "He realizes everyone he loves dies, and his whole life is full of pain. So it's better that he just escapes. He can't die really. He just wants to get away from everything." [12] Jackman stated that he ate six meals a day in preparation for the role. [13] Jackman contacted Dwayne Johnson for some tips on bulking up for the film. Johnson suggested that for six months, he gain a pound a week, by eating 6,000 calories a day which consisted of "an awful lot of chicken, steak and brown rice". [14]
Ichirō's son [15] as well as Mariko's father and corporate rival, [16] who is proficient in kendo. [17]
Ichirō's granddaughter, whose life becomes threatened as a result of her grandfather's will. About her character, Okamoto said that Mariko is no pushover and is proficient in karate and knife-throwing. [18]
A precognitive mutant and one of the deadliest assassins in Ichirō's clan. [16] [19] [20] [21] Fukushima said, "My character's very physical. Yukio and Wolverine have a lot in common. She really takes care of him and he also cares about her." [18] Mangold described Yukio as a lethal fighter who is "both sexy and almost kind of sprung from the anime world." [12]
A mutant, former member and former medical doctor of the X-Men, whom Logan reluctantly killed at the end of X-Men: The Last Stand. Jackman said, "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." [22]
A former lover of Mariko and head of the Black Ninja Clan, sworn to protect the Yashida family. Lee said that he underwent rigorous sword training for the film. [18] [23]
A mutant, who has an immunity to toxins. [12] [24] About her character, Khodchenkova said "Viper doesn't really have many people that she cares about, most of them she just uses for her own purpose." [18] Mangold said, "as her name would imply, she's kind of snakelike," and that Viper views Logan "like a great hunter might view hunting a lion in his quarry." [12] The film does not reference Viper's comic book history as an agent of Hydra, due to rights issues with Marvel Studios. [25]
Shingen's father, [15] Mariko's grandfather and the founder of Yashida Industries, a powerful technology zaibatsu. Logan saved Ichirō during the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. [16] Ken Yamamura portrays a young Ichiro.
A corrupt minister of justice, who is engaged to Mariko. [23]

Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen reprise their roles as Charles Xavier / Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto in cameo appearances during the mid-credits scene.

Production

Development

"There are so many areas of that Japanese story, I love the idea of this kind of anarchic character, the outsider, being in this world – I can see it aesthetically, too – full of honor and tradition and customs and someone who’s really anti-all of that, and trying to negotiate his way. The idea of the samurai, too – and the tradition there. It’s really great. In the comic book, he gets his ass kicked by a couple of samurai – not even mutants. He’s shocked by that at first."

—Hugh Jackman [26]

In September 2007, Gavin Hood, director of X-Men Origins: Wolverine , speculated that there would be a sequel, which would be set in Japan. [27] During one of the post-credits scenes Logan is seen drinking at a bar in Japan. Such a location was the subject of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's 1982 limited series on the character, which was not in the first film as Jackman felt "what we need to do is establish who [Logan] is and find out how he became Wolverine". [28] [29] Jackman stated the Claremont-Miller series is his favorite Wolverine story. [30] Of the Japanese arc, Jackman also stated, "I won’t lie to you, I have been talking to writers... I’m a big fan of the Japanese saga in the comic book." [26] Before X-Men Origins: Wolverine's release, Lauren Shuler Donner approached Simon Beaufoy to write the script, but he did not feel confident enough to commit. [31] By May 4, 2009, Jackman's company Seed Productions was preparing several projects, including a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine to be set in Japan, [32] but neither Jackman nor Seed has a production credit on the completed 2013 sequel. On May 5, 2009, just days after the opening weekend of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the sequel was officially confirmed. [33]

Christopher McQuarrie, who went uncredited for his work on X-Men , was hired to write the screenplay for the Wolverine sequel in August 2009. [34] According to Shuler-Donner, the sequel would focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. Wolverine would have a different fighting style due to Mariko's father having "this stick-like weapon. There'll be samurai, ninja, katana blades, different forms of martial arts – mano-a-mano, extreme fighting." She continued: "We want to make it authentic so I think it's very likely we'll be shooting in Japan. I think it's likely the characters will speak English rather than Japanese with subtitles." [35] In January 2010, at the People's Choice Awards, Jackman stated that the film would start shooting sometime in 2011, [36] and in March 2010 McQuarrie declared that the screenplay was finished for production to start in January the following year. [37] Sources indicated Darren Aronofsky was in negotiations to direct the film [38] after Bryan Singer turned down the offer. [39]

Pre-production

"If you have a hero who can't be hurt, there's only one way to create stakes or jeopardy, and that's to put people he cares about in harm's way. And, not unlike the amnesia thing, that can get tired really fast... I think there's so much to mine in Logan without robbing him of self-knowledge. What I wanted to present to the audience was, what is it like to feel a prisoner in a life you cannot escape? You accumulate pain and loss, and keep that with you as you keep on going."

—James Mangold [40]

In October 2010, Jackman confirmed that Aronofsky would direct the film. [13] Jackman commented that with Aronofsky directing, Wolverine 2 will not be "usual" stating, "This is, hopefully for me, going to be out of the box. It's going to be the best one, I hope... Well, I would say that, but I really do feel that, and I feel this is going to be very different. This is Wolverine. This is not Popeye. He's kind of dark... But, you know, this is a change of pace. Chris McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects , has written the script, so that'll give you a good clue. [Aronofsky's] going to make it fantastic. There's going to be some meat on the bones. There will be something to think about as you leave the theater, for sure". [13] The film was scheduled to begin principal photography in March 2011 in New York City before the production moves to Japan for the bulk of shooting. [41]

While Jackman in 2008 characterized the film as "a sequel to Origins", [42] Aronofsky in November 2010 said the film, now titled The Wolverine, was a "one-off" rather than a sequel. [43] Also in November, Fox Filmed Entertainment sent out a press release stating that they have signed Aronofsky and his production company Protozoa Pictures to a new two-year, overall deal. Under the deal, Protozoa would develop and produce films for both 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures. Aronofsky’s debut picture under the pact would have been The Wolverine. [44]

In March 2011, Aronofsky bowed out of directing the film, saying in a statement, "As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year.... I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won't be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again". [45] Fox also decided to be "in no rush" to start the production due to the damage incurred in Japan by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. [46] Despite this, Jackman said the project was moving ahead. "It's too early to call on Japan, I'm not sure where they're at. So now we're finding another director, but Fox is very anxious to make the movie and we're moving ahead full steam to find another director". [47]

James Mangold at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International. James Mangold by Gage Skidmore.jpg
James Mangold at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International.

In May 2011, Fox had a list of eight candidates to replace Aronofsky, including directors José Padilha, Doug Liman, Antoine Fuqua, Mark Romanek, Justin Lin, Gavin O'Connor, James Mangold and Gary Shore. [48] In June 2011, Fox entered negotiations with Mangold and intended to start principal photography in fall 2011. [49] In July 2011, Jackman said he planned to begin filming in October 2011 and that he would fight the Silver Samurai. [50]

In August 2011, The Vancouver Sun reported that filming would take place from November 11, 2011 to March 1, 2012 at the Canadian Motion Picture Park in Burnaby, British Columbia. [51] Almost immediately, filming was postponed to spring 2012 so Jackman could work on Les Misérables . [52] In September, Mark Bomback was hired to rewrite McQuarrie's script. [53] At one point, Bomback tried to work Rogue into the script, but he rejected it for being "goofy" and "problematic". [54] In February 2012, a July 26, 2013, release date was set, [55] and in April, filming was set to begin in August 2012 in Australia, which would serve as the primary location due to financial and tax incentives. [56]

In July 2012, actors Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima had been cast as Shingen, Ichirō, Mariko and Yukio, respectively. [16] Additionally, Will Yun Lee was cast as Harada, and Brian Tee as Noburo Mori. [23] By July 2012, Deadline.com said Jessica Biel would play Viper. [57] However, at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International, Biel said her role in the film was "not a done deal", explaining, "People keep talking about this. I don't know anything about it. It's a little bit too soon for that kind of an announcement". [58] A few days later, negotiations between Biel and 20th Century Fox had broken down. [59] Later in July, Fox had begun talks with Svetlana Khodchenkova to take over the role. [24] Somewhat unusually for action movies, The Wolverine features four female lead roles and "passes the Bechdel Test early and often", according to Vulture . Mangold noted that he wrote his heroines so that "they all have missions. They all have jobs to do other than be the object of affection", intent of avoiding the "worn out" trope of the woman in jeopardy. [60]

In August 2012, Guillermo del Toro revealed he had been interested in directing the film, as the Japanese arc was his favorite Wolverine story. [61] After meeting with Jim Gianopulos and Jackman, del Toro passed, deciding he did not wish to spend two to three years of his life working on the movie. [61]

Filming

Crew of The Wolverine working on the film set in Surry Hills, Sydney The Wolverine Crew.jpg
Crew of The Wolverine working on the film set in Surry Hills, Sydney

On a production budget of $120 million, [8] principal photography began on July 30, 2012. [62] Shuler Donner had to be absent through most of the production due to breast cancer, with her treatment ending just before post-production begun. [63] [64] Some of the earliest scenes were shot at the Bonna Point Reserve in Kurnell, New South Wales, which doubled as a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. [62] Filming there ended on August 2, 2012, with production scheduled to continue around Sydney followed by a few weeks in Japan before wrapping up in mid-November. [65] On August 3, 2012, production moved to Picton, which doubled as a town in Canada's Yukon region. [66]

On August 25, 2012, Mangold said that production moved to Tokyo and began shooting. [67] On September 4, 2012, filming took place outside Fukuyama Station in Fukuyama, Hiroshima. [68] Filming in Tomonoura, a port in the Ichichi ward of Fukuyama, concluded on September 11, 2012. [69]

On October 8, 2012, production returned to Sydney with filming on Erskine Street near Cockle Bay. [70] The following week, the film shot in Parramatta, which doubled as a Japanese city. [71] Also in October, Mangold revealed that the film follows the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, saying, "Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all. Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there’s a tremendous sense of isolation for [Wolverine]." [72] Mangold later stated that in the fight scenes, "there's an urgency and a kind of intensity and hand to hand physicality that I hope is a little different than everything else out there." [12] On October 25, 2012 production relocated to Sydney Olympic Park in western Sydney. [73] The set was made into a Japanese village draped in snow with filming beginning on November 1, 2012. [74] On November 10, 2012, filming took place on a back street in Surry Hills. The set, constructed on Brisbane St., was transformed to look like a Japanese street with Japanese signage and vehicles scattered throughout. [75] Principal photography concluded on November 21, 2012. [76]

Reshoots took place in Montréal, including the credits scene where Magneto and Professor X warn Wolverine of a new threat. [77] Said scene was contributed by Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg, writers of X-Men: Days of Future Past , as a way to "reintroduce Patrick Stewart into the universe" and set up their film. [78] Mangold stated that while production of The Wolverine started before Days of Future Past and thus the film was mostly focused on being a self-contained story, he was able to collaborate with Singer to "make things groove together". [79]

Post-production

Original plate (top), animation pass (center) and the completed shot of the Silver Samurai (bottom) Silver Samurai - The Wolverine.jpg
Original plate (top), animation pass (center) and the completed shot of the Silver Samurai (bottom)

In October 2012, it was reported that The Wolverine would be converted to 3D, making it the first 3D release for one of 20th Century Fox's Marvel films. [80] Visual effects for the film were completed by Weta Digital, Rising Sun Pictures (RSP), Iloura, and Shade VFX. [81]

In order to recreate the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, RSP studied natural phenomena such as volcanoes, instead of relying on archived footage of atomic blasts, and recreated the effects digitally. They also replaced the Sydney cityscape on the horizon with views of Nagasaki. The walking bear featured in the Yukon scenes was created with computer graphics by Weta Digital, while Make-Up Effects Group built a 12 foot tall animatronic bear, that was used for shots of the creature dying after it had been hit by poisoned arrows fired by hunters. [82]

For a fight scene taking place on top of a speeding bullet train, the actors and stunt performers filmed on wires above a set piece surrounded by a greenscreen. The moving background, filmed on an elevated freeway in Tokyo, was added later. Weta Digital visual effects supervisor Martin Hill said the team adopted a "Google Street View method", explaining "But instead of having a big panoramic cam on top of a van, we built a rig that had eight 45 degree angle Red Epic [cameras] that gave us massive resolution driving down all the massive lanes of the freeway. We let a bit of air out of the tires of the van and kept a constant 60 kilometers an hour. So if we shot at 48 fps we just needed to speed up the footage by 10 times to give us the 300 kilometers an hour required." [82]

The Silver Samurai, rendered by Weta Digital, was based on a model that had been 3D printed and chrome painted using electrolysis. Stunt performer Shane Rangi, wearing a motion capture suit, stood on stilts while filming as the Silver Samurai. Rangi's performance was then used to animate the digital character. Hill said the main challenge was creating the Silver Samurai's highly reflective surface, "He's pretty much chrome. We were worried that he was going to look incredibly digital and that it was going to be very hard to make him look solid and real and not just like a mirrored surface." [82]

The original assembly cut of the film ran around two hours and 35 minutes. [83] The mid-credit scene was written by Simon Kinberg and shot by the X-Men: Days of Future Past crew, though Mangold directed the scene. [84]

Music

In September 2012, Marco Beltrami, who previously scored James Mangold's film 3:10 to Yuma (2007), announced that he had signed on to score The Wolverine. [85] Following Mangold's noir and Spaghetti Western inspirations for the film, Beltrami explained, "I think I do every movie as a western whether it is or not, so there’s definitely some of the spaghetti western influence on my music throughout the score, and I guess throughout a lot of my work. I wouldn’t say there was a particular movie that influenced me more than something else. There was nothing that I was trying to mimic or anything." [86] On associating sounds with the film's primary location, Beltrami said, "I think the last thing that Jim [Mangold] and I wanted to do was Japanese music associated with Japanese places. There's a reference; I do use Japanese instruments, [but] not really in a traditional way." [87] The score was performed by an 85-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox. [88]

The Wolverine
Film score by
ReleasedJuly 23, 2013 (2013-07-23)
RecordedNewman Scoring Stage, 2012–2013
Genre Film score
Length58:30
Label Sony Classical, catalog #B00CSW07Z6
Producer James Mangold (Executive Producer)
Marco Beltrami chronology
World War Z: Music from the Motion Picture
(2013)
The Wolverine
(2013)
Carrie
(2013)
X-Men soundtrack chronology
X-Men: First Class
(2011)
The Wolverine
(2013)
X-Men: Days of Future Past
(2014)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg
AVForums (highly recommended)
Filmtracks Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg
SoundtrackGeek (82.7/100)
Track listing

All music composed by Marco Beltrami.

No.TitleLength
1."A Walk in the Woods"1:02
2."Threnody for Nagasaki"1:15
3."Euthanasia"1:36
4."Logan's Run"3:56
5."The Offer"3:15
6."Arriving at the Temple"2:10
7."Funeral Fight"4:22
8."Two Handed"4:04
9."Bullet Train"1:31
10."The Snare"1:32
11."Abduction"2:11
12."Trusting"1:54
13."Ninja Quiet"3:40
14."Kantana Surgery"3:50
15."The Wolverine"2:21
16."The Hidden Fortress"5:02
17."Silver Samurai"3:27
18."Sword of Vengeance"4:32
19."Dreams"1:21
20."Goodbye Mariko"1:01
21."Where To?"2:25
22."Whole Step Haiku"2:08
iTunes bonus track
No.TitleLength
23."Yukio"1:49

Release

The Wolverine was released in 2D and 3D theaters on July 24, 2013, in various international markets, on July 25, 2013, in Australia, and on July 26, 2013, in the United States. [89] The film was titled Wolverine: Immortal in Brazil and Spanish-language markets. [90] [91] The film premiered in Japan on September 13, 2013, under the title Wolverine: Samurai(ウルヴァリン: SAMURAI,Uruvarin Samurai). [92]

Marketing

Hugh Jackman at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, promoting The Wolverine Hugh Jackman by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Hugh Jackman at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, promoting The Wolverine

On October 29, 2012, director James Mangold and actor Jackman hosted a live chat from the set of the film. The chat took place on the official website and the official YouTube account of the film. [93]

The first American trailer and international trailer of The Wolverine were released on March 27, 2013. [94] Empire Magazine said "This is all very encouraging stuff from director James Mangold, a man who's obviously not afraid of tweaking the original source material to serve his own ends." [95] The trailer was later attached to G.I. Joe: Retaliation . [96] The second American trailer was then released on April 18, 2013, and was screened at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada. [97]

The third American trailer was released on May 21, 2013, [98] and then on June 13, 2013, the second international trailer was released. [99]

On July 20, 2013, 20th Century Fox presented The Wolverine along with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and X-Men: Days of Future Past to the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con with Jackman and Mangold in attendance to present new footage of the film. [100]

20th Century Fox partnered with automotive company Audi to promote the film with their sports car Audi R8 and their motorcycle Ducati. [101] Other partners included sugar-free chewing gum brand 5 and casual dining restaurant company Red Robin. [102]

Home media

The Wolverine was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D on December 3, 2013. [103] The Blu-ray set features an exclusive unrated extended cut of the film referred to as the "Unleashed Extended Edition". [104] This version of the film was screened for the first time at 20th Century Fox Studios on November 19, 2013. [105] It contains 12 extra minutes, [106] primarily including an extended battle with Harada's ninjas during the start of the film's third act as well as additional footage during moments of character interaction. [107] The BBFC gives its running time as 132 m 22s, only six minutes longer. [108]

Reception

Box office

Along with the improvements in critical reception, The Wolverine outgrossed Origins in total box office, though earned less domestically. The film closed in US theaters on December 5, 2013, grossing $132,556,852 in North America (as opposed to $179,883,157 for the earlier film) and $282,271,394 in other territories (as opposed to the earlier film's $193,179,707), for a worldwide total of $414,828,246. [10] The film earned $139.6 million on its worldwide opening weekend. [109] When compared to the rest of the X-Men film franchise, The Wolverine has garnered somewhat mixed results in terms of box office success. While its domestic gross is greater than the production budget, it is still lower than the other five films of the franchise, with its domestic box office total being roughly $45.1 million less than the franchise's average. However, its overseas total currently exceeds the franchise's average by roughly $75.7 million and is significantly more than any of the other X-Men films. With a worldwide total of roughly $414.8 million, The Wolverine was at that time the third highest-grossing film. [110]

In North America, the film opened at the top of the box office on its opening day, with $20.7 million, with $4 million coming from Thursday late night showings. [111] [112] It held on to the number one spot through its first weekend, with $53,113,752, which is the lowest opening of the series. [113]

Outside North America, the film topped the box office on its opening weekend with $86.5 million from 100 countries. The film achieved the highest opening of the franchise, passing X-Men: The Last Stand 's $76.2 million opening. [113] [114]

Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 71% approval rating with an average rating of 6.34/10 based on 251 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Although its final act succumbs to the usual cartoonish antics, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the comics while keeping casual viewers entertained." [115] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 61 out of 100, based on reviews from 46 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [116] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-", on a scale from A+ to F. [117]

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it a grade of "B+", praising Jackman's performance as "strong, solid entertainment" and "a serious, sometimes dark and deliberately paced story." [118] Christy Lemire, writing for the website of Roger Ebert, said that the film "features some breathtakingly suspenseful action sequences, exquisite production and costume design and colorful characters, some of whom register more powerfully than others." [119] Variety film critic Peter Debruge called the film "an entertaining and surprisingly existential digression from his usual X-Men exploits. Though Wolvie comes across a bit world-weary and battle-worn by now, Jackman is in top form, taking the opportunity to test the character’s physical and emotional extremes. Fans might’ve preferred bigger action or more effects, but Mangold does them one better, recovering the soul of a character whose near-immortality made him tiresome." [120] James Buchanan of TV Guide.com gave it 3 out of 4 stars, calling it "A rare comic-to-film adaptation that doesn't sacrifice substance for the sake of thrilling action." [121] Scott Collura of IGN praised the film giving it an 8.5 out of 10 [122] and stated, "The Wolverine is a stand alone adventure for the classic character that reminds us that there's more to this genre than universe-building and crossovers. ... [The] story paints a deep and compelling portrait of Logan, a haunted character that Jackman still finds new ways to play all these years later." [123] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone felt that despite the film's final act "sink[ing] into CGI shit", Jackman's performance "still has the juice" and Mangold's directing "shows style and snap." [124]

Conversely, Henry Barnes of The Guardian derided the film, giving it 2 out of 5 stars and stating, "Hugh Jackman's sixth time out in the claws and hair combo is looking increasingly wearied, as the backstory gets more complicated and the action gets duller and flatter." [125] Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News offered a similar view, saying "Hugh Jackman has the role of the mutant superhero down pat, but the rest of the film is the same old slice and dice." [126]

Accolades

List of awards and nominations
YearAward / Film FestivalCategoryRecipient(s) and nominee(s)ResultRef.
2013 Hollywood Film Awards Hollywood Movie Award James Mangold Nominated [127]
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite Action MovieThe WolverineNominated [128]
Favorite Movie Actor Hugh Jackman (also for Prisoners )Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture The WolverineNominated [129]
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Male ButtkickerHugh JackmanNominated [130]
Saturn Awards Best Comic-To-Film Motion PictureThe WolverineNominated [131]

Sequel

By October 2013, 20th Century Fox had begun negotiations with both Jackman and Mangold to return for a previously untitled installment. Mangold was scheduled to write the treatment, with Lauren Shuler Donner returning to produce. [132] On March 20, 2014, Fox announced that the sequel would be released March 3, 2017. [133] David James Kelly was hired to write the script, and Jackman was set to reprise his role as Wolverine. [134] By the following month, screenwriter Michael Green was attached to the film. [135] Mangold tweeted that filming would start in early 2016. [136] Patrick Stewart said in August 2015 that he will reprise his role as Charles Xavier. [137] Liev Schreiber, who portrayed Sabertooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine said in February 2016 that he was in talks to reprise his role in the sequel. [138] By April 2016, Boyd Holbrook had been cast as head of security for a global enterprise set against Wolverine, and Richard E. Grant as a "mad scientist type". [139] [140] Simon Kinberg that month said the film will be set in the future. [141] Toward the end of the month, Stephen Merchant was cast as Caliban. [142] [143] In May 2016, Eriq La Salle and Elise Neal were cast in unspecified roles. [144] [145] In May, Kinberg said filming had started and that he planned it to be an R-rated movie. [146]

Notes

  1. Sources differ regarding the country or countries of origin of The Wolverine. Some indicate that the United States is the sole country of origin, [2] [3] [4] while others list it as a co-production of the United States and Great Britain. [5] [6]
  2. As depicted in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand .
  3. Later depicted in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past .

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Further reading