The Wolverine storyline has Logan heading to Japan and involves a complicated relationships between Logan and Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a female ninja who works for crime boss Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada), who … happens to be the father of Wolverine’s other love, Mariko (Tao Okamoto). Also in the mix is Viper (rumored to be played by Svetlana Khodchenkova), a female villain who has another love-hate relationship with Wolverine. This storyline was adapted from the 1982 storyline from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller.
Entertainment Weekly recently spoke with director James Mangold about the characters, the storyline and what to expect from The Wolverine...
Mangold feels that the storyline is very close to the Claremont/Miller comic book series but it's definitely more. The new movie takes place after X-Men 3 and Logan is stripped clean of his duties to the X-Men, his other allegiances, and even stripped clean of his own sense of purpose.
"I think it’s a very admiring adaptation. Obviously when you’re adapting anything you make some changes. But all the characters are there – Yukio, Viper, Mariko, Shingen, and Logan obviously. The whole cast of characters that exist in that world exists in our film.""I was fascinated with the idea of portraying Logan as a ronin – the definition of which is a samurai without a master, without a purpose. Kind of a soldier who is cut loose. War is over. What does he do? What does he face? What does he believe anymore? Who are his friends? What is his reason for being here anymore?"
It was asked of Mangold if the rumors about possible X-Men characters turning up in this film?
"An old friendship. What brings him there is an old ally in Japan. We find Logan in a moment of tremendous disillusionment.""He gets drawn to Japan by an old friendship and then finds himself in a labyrinth of deceit, caught up in the agendas of mobsters, of wealth, and other powers we come to understand."
Hugh Jackman and Mangold wanted to show and explore the mutant side of Logan and his curse.
"The thing Hugh and I try to explore in this one is the most interesting aspect of the character — the never-ending nature of his life. His immortality. The fact he can heal from anything. That is a kind of dream for us mere mortals. But it’s interesting to explore what a curse that is."