Published On: Wed, Nov 2nd, 2011

James Mangold talks ‘The Wolverine’ story and concept

Director James Mangold should teach a class on how to participate in an interesting interview while not really revealing all that much. When speaking to The Playlist, the director did just that: he touched on much of what he believes will be great about his ‘X-Men’ spin-off sequel, ‘The Wolverine,’ but didn’t get sloppy by revealing too many details.

On the Japanese setting, he said:

“It’s a kind of adventure following such a unique character also in a really unique environment. I mean, the fact that half of the characters in this movie speak Japanese, this is like a foreign-language superhero movie that’s as much a drama and a detective story and a film noir, with high-octane action as it is anything like a conventional tentpole film.”

photo 20th Century Fox

During director Darren Aronofsky’s time attached to ‘The Wolverine,’ he was partnered up with screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie. While Mangold’s film will have its ties to Aronofsky’s, he assures that he and screenwriter Mark Bomback have made it their own. He explained:

“Mark Bomback and myself have done a tremendous amount of writing on the movie. There’s not a page that hasn’t been worked and reworked and rethought and story-boarded. So it just is what it is; I mean, kind of the part of connecting to the movie and developing the scenes and finding the locations and devising the action is all about not only making it good, but also in the process making it your own.”

Mangold also believes that he has something that veers away from convention, and from the sounds of it, something more along the lines of what you would expect from a serious comic or graphic novel. Of the film’s structure, he said:

“I think part of the reason I’m doing this picture has been because it isn’t to me a conventional superhero movie. It isn’t an origin story, so I’m freed from that burden, and it also isn’t a save-the-world movie, which most of them are. It’s actually a character piece; I actually think it has more in common with ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ and ‘Chinatown,’ what we’re doing, than the conventional, ‘will Wolverine and his compatriots save the world from this thermonuclear device’ question.”

Unsurprisingly, of the fighting sequences, he said:

“The fighting is going to be unique because it’s all influenced by Japanese martial arts.”

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- Stories transferred over from The Desk of Brian where the original author was not determined and the content is still of interest of Dispatch readers.


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