In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed.
Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.
When he's most vulnerable, he's most dangerous. The hero. The fugitive. The warrior. The survivor. The legend. The fight of his life will be for his own. When enemies rise... when immortality ends... the ultimate battle begins.
Famke Janssen filmed her Jean Gray cameo in three days.
The first X-Men film to be released in 3D and IMAX.
Producer Lauren Shuler Donner approached writer Simon Beaufoy to write the script, but Beaufoy did not feel confident enough to commit.
Hugh Jackman is a self-confessed fan of the Chris Claremont-Frank Miller "Wolverine" comic (1982), especially the Japanese saga: "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 full of honor and tradition and customs; someone who's really anti-all of that, and trying to negotiate his own 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."
Darren Aronofsky was originally set to direct and worked on the project for six months before departing, citing the long overseas shoot would prevent him from seeing his family (he had just separated from Rachel Weisz, the mother of his child). During his time attached to the film, he rewrote the screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and it is speculated that the real reason for his departure was the studio's unwillingness to approve his draft - which aimed for a hard 'R' rating due to heavy sexual content and brutal violence.
This will be the first time Wolverine will be in a movie without X-Men attached to the title.
This is Jackman's sixth portrayal of Logan/Wolverine.
Jessica Biel was offered the role of Viper but a deal couldn't be reached and she dropped
Togo Igawa was considered for the role of Shingen.
Guillermo del Toro expressed interest in directing, being a fan of the Japanese saga in the "Wolverine" comics. He met with James Gianopulos and Hugh Jackman about directing the film, but ultimately decided he did not wish to spend 2-3 years of his life working on the film.
In May 2011 Fox was down to a short list of eight candidates to direct: Jose Padilha, Doug Liman, Antoine Fuqua, Mark Romanek, Justin Lin, Gavin O'Connor, Gary Shore and James Mangold. Out of that list Mangold was chosen.
According to James Mangold, this film is a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand ("Jean Grey is gone and most of the X-Men are disbanded, so there's a tremendous sense of isolation for Wolverine") but with extended flashbacks.
To prepare for the role, Hugh Jackman contacted Dwayne Johnson for advice on bulking up for the movie. Johnson suggested Jackman could gain a pound a week over six months (24 weeks) by eating 6,000 calories a day of "an awful lot of chicken, steak and brown rice."
According to James Mangold, the film had started out as a prequel to X-Men, but later he decided to make it a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand: "I wanted to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it. The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story, and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me that's such an interesting part of Logan's character that it is nearly impossible to explore in a prequel."
Hugh Jackman confirmed on having discussions with director James Mangold about test screening a PG-13 rated cut and an R rated cut, but did not comment on filming sequences for them.
Director of photography Amir Mokri was replaced during filming by second unit director of photography Ross Emery.
According to James Mangold, this film is influenced by the Japanese samurai films 13 Assassins and Hiroshi Inagaki's Musashi Miyamoto Samurai trilogy; the Westerns Shane and The Outlaw Josey Wales; the crime films The French Connection and Chinatown; and the dramas Black Narcissus, Floating Weeds, Chungking Express and Happy Together.
Hugh Jackman said that with this film, he finally achieved the physique that he always envisioned in his mind that Wolverine should have. He said that for some reason, on each of his 5 prior takes at the character, he felt that he never had enough time to get in shape; for this film he finally had enough time, and got his body exactly the way he wanted it to look. Co-star Will Yun Lee also said that it was Jackman's best physique for the role of Wolverine.
According to Hugh Jackman, Wolverine being surrounded by death while being unable to die due to his healing factor is a major theme in the film: "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."
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