20th Century Fox have begun casting The Wolverine, according to reports at Coming Soon. The sequel to the X-Men spin-off focuses once again on Hugh Jackman’s clawed title character and will begin filming in August for a release next summer.
Directed by James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Knight & Day), The Wolverine will be an all Japanese based tale adapted from the famous Chris Claremont and Frank Miller run from the 80′s. It will follow an amnesic Logan clashing with several samurais in the Japanese underworld, finding love and squaring off against the Silver Samurai.
Fittingly then, all four actors cast in the new movie are Asian.
Former Lost actor Hiroyuki Sanada will play Shingen (below, left), a Yakuza boss and father to Mariko, who will be played by newcomer Tao Okamoto (below, right). Mariko becomes romantically involved with Logan against Shingen’s wishes as he wants her to marry another Yakuza boss.
Shingen challenges Logan to a duel and has him drugged by his assassin Yukio (below, left), who will be played by Rila Fukushima.
Veteran actor Hal Yamanouchi, who you might recognise from dozen of supporting roles from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to Push will play Yashida (below, right), who is likely part of Shingen’s clan. Of course none of this info comes from Fox but it is how it goes in the comics, so we can presume this is how it will roll.
The plan all along has been for 20th Century Fox to fill The Wolverine with authentic Asian actors, building the whole movie around Hugh Jackman’s global star power. Screenwriter Mark Bomback, who wrote the forthcoming Total Recall remake, has called it a character driven movie with a 70′s feel, previously comparing it to Clint Eastwood’s classic western The Outlaw Josey Wales.
We do however have something of an expectation that Fox will likely include other X-Men cameos from their film universe, POSSIBLY setting up a way for Wolverine to feature in further X-Men: First Class movies (Jackman cameos in the original film) or seeing a character from that timeline cross-over into the Wolverine’s.
Filming begins in weeks rather than months, so expect some more castings and details to trickle out soon. The Wolverine is due in theatres July 26th, 2013 and will be shot in Japan and Australia.