20th Century Fox have finally set a release date for the much-delayed franchise sequel The Wolverine, which we now know will open in theaters on July 26th, 2013.
Hugh Jackman returns to play the title role he has performed in every single one of the X-Men movies to date.
After reports he might bail on the project, director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Knight & Day) is still officially on board to helm the ‘dark character piece’ that has been compared in some quarters as a superhero version of The Outlaw Josey Wales. Chris McQuarrie (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) wrote the script which Mark Bomback (Total Recall remake) has most recently re-drafted.
Completely set in Asia, the movie will follow an amnesiac Wolverine searching for answers about his past in the Japanese criminal underworld and falling in love with a girl he shouldn’t, as her hand in marriage belongs to another. Wolverine duels off against her father after being told he can’t marry her and must defeat her samurai brothers and the villainous Silver Samurai himself.
Originally set to be filmed this year by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler) before a natural disaster in Japan halted those plans, the film suffered another set back last fall when star Hugh Jackman couldn’t pass up the opportunity of making an adaptation of the hit musical Les Miserables. This forced a delay on the imminent shooting in Vancouver, leaving many to believe Aronofsky’s replacement director James Mangold would depart and leave the project in tatters. But stay on board through Jackman’s busy scheduling he has and Mangold looks like he has shaken hands with Fox on the ‘Matthew Vaughn/X-Men: First Class’ type deal where he will need to turn in a movie in no more than a year from beginning of shooting to release date. Jackman hasn’t yet completed work on Les Miserables and this one probably won’t be able to film until the summer.
So barring another director departure or another natural disaster or Hugh Jackman being courted by another musical, the film will shoot this summer for a release July 26th, 2013…