Third Wolverine Flick Named Simply ‘Logan’

logan_wolverineThe third Wolverine solo movie got a name and a teaser poster today. As revealed by star Hugh Jackman on Twitter, director James Mangold‘s second Wolvie film — and Jackman’s last — will be called simply Logan.

To go along with the spare name, Jackman also unveiled a minimalist poster, which appears to depict Wolverine Logan holding the hand of a child. The vibe of the poster is very Schindler’s List, evocative of the supposed darker direction of this installment.

I like the name a lot — especially considering the horrible alternatives. We could have ended up with The X-Men: Logan or Wolverine 3: Logan or Wolverine: Episode III — An X-Men Story or, worse, X-Men Origins: Wolverine 3, or some other monstrosity. But 20th Century Fox is trusting the audience to recognize this is an X-Men-related movie, so it isn’t spoonfeeding fans a saga title like The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials or (the worst) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2.

As for the poster, it hints at the story line, which is supposedly loosely based on the “Old Man Logan” story from the comics, which saw an aged Logan back in action in a dystopian far future. Notice that Logan’s hand is heavily scarred and cut.
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The Wolverine’s Red Underwear Clip

HBO cornered star Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold and somehow convinced them to talk about their latest collaboration, The Wolverine, and introduce a new scene from the action film.

Looks like fun — even if the pool gag has been done before.

The Wolverine opens this weekend.

We Could Have Guessed The Wolverine’s Plot

So, after months of teasing in an attempt to build fan buzz for a movie sequel that no one asked for, the first real trailers for James Mangold’s The Wolverine have surfaced — and the one slated for international exposure is much better than the U.S. domestic clip.

First, take a look at the U.S. trailer, which does explain what the movie is about:

Now consider the international trailer, which features a couple of tiny glimpses of the Silver Samurai (Will Yun Lee) in his comic book costume, which is entirely absent from the U.S. footage. It also does a better job of telling us what the storyline is:

The deadly chick with the red hair is Yukio, played by newcomer Rila Fukushima, and the old dude making Logan the offer is Yashida, portrayed by Hal Yamanouchi (whom some of you may remember as the evil father in the underrated Chris Evans/Dakota Fanning mutant movie, Push).

I have to confess that I groaned when I heard Yashida offer Wolverine a way to take away his healing factor. Does every X-Men-related movie have to be about coming up with a way to “cure” the mutants? It’s so boring to see the same plot used over and over and over. Plus, hello, they’re mutants — they were born that way. How could there be a cure for that?

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.

 

Finally: a Synopsis for The Wolverine

Seems like we’ve been hearing about The Wolverine — the sequel no one demanded to the wet-noodle 2009 flick X-Men Origins: Wolverine — for almost forever, but specific details about the flick have been lacking. Until now.

The (otherwise lame) official Facebook page for The Wolverine now offers a story synopsis. To wit:

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.

The flick is still shooting under the direction of James Mangold (Cop Land), and (of course) stars Hugh Jackman, who insists the movie is not connected to X-MO:W. He told an interviewer:

“We’ve deliberately not called it Wolverine 2 because we want it to be placed and feel like a standalone picture. With an all-new cast and setting it in Japan, it’s going to give us a whole new visual aesthetic. The approach to character means we won’t be overloaded with mutants and teams and the like, so it’ll be more character-based. I think in many ways it will fell like a completely different X-Men film.”

Word is the storyline is based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s 1982 Wolverine comic book miniseries, which would be jake in my book. Starting with a good comics story at least gives the movie a solid base on which to build. (Something X-MO:W lacked.)

The Wolverine is slated to open July 26, 2013.