Suddenly, ‘The Wolverine’ is Looking Up

I was — and remain — truly skeptical about The Wolverine,director  James Mangold’s sequel to 2009’s simply silly X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but some recent developments have led me to be a little less negative about its prospects: set photos.

Today, we get to see some spy photos from the set that reveal a glimpse of the Silver Samurai’s costume — and it looks a lot like the comic book version (at least from the back)! A little faithfulness to the source material will go a long way toward placating comics fans and help lower the static of negativity that can be generated. There’s also a clear image of actor Will Yun Lee out of his Silver Samurai armor. I can’t wait to see the front of the costume, because so much already has been changed about Wolverine that I’d enjoy seeing something clearly recognizable. (Hopefully fellow villain Viper’s costume will be loyal to the printed page, as well.)

If the villain’s costume retains all (or at least most) its comic book style, let’s hope the Silver Samurai’s powers remain the same, too. Kenuichio Harada is a mutant with the ability to charge his sword (and other objects) with energy that enables it to cut through anything — with the notable exception of adamantium. Luckily, Wolverine is full of it. Adamantium, I mean.

Speaking of the feral X-Man’s skeleton, in another shot here, we see Wolvie actor Hugh Jackman’s stunt double wearing practical claws on his hands — suggesting that this movie returns to the using real props instead of fully CGI claws, as in XO:W. I call that taking a step forward by taking a step backward.

The Wolverine opens on July 26, 2013, here in the United States.

ETA: Here is a photo of Svetlana Khodchenkova (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy) as Viper. I don’t like the blonde hair.