The Wolverine (2013) Poster



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Young Yashida gives Wolverine a samurai sword with 6 Kanji letters engraved on it. These kanji read: "Never Died, Never Aged, Never Destroyed". This is apt for Wolverine.
Hugh Jackman said that for his shirtless scenes in the film, he wanted to look "as ripped and cut as possible". So he adopted a dehydration diet (used in bodybuilding) where he did not consume any liquid for 36 hours before filming his shirtless shots. He said it made him feel "headachy" and faint but he was pleased with the results as dehydrating tightens everything up and gave him the exaggerated muscle definition and vascularity that he wanted to show in his shirtless scenes.
To prepare for the role, Hugh Jackman contacted Dwayne Johnson for advice on bulking up for the movie. Johnson suggested Jackman could gain a pound a week over six months (24 weeks) by eating 6,000 calories a day of "an awful lot of chicken, steak and brown rice."
The film was scheduled to be released in Japan in mid-September, more than a month after its worldwide release. This was to avoid insensitive screenings during the early August anniversaries of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the film itself opens with the Nagasaki bombing).
Hugh Jackman said that with this film, he finally achieved the physique that he always envisioned in his mind that Wolverine should have. He said that for some reason, on each of his 5 prior takes at the character, he felt that he never had enough time to get in shape; for this film he finally had enough time, and got his body exactly the way he wanted it to look. Co-star Will Yun Lee also said that it was Jackman's best physique for the role of Wolverine.
Hugh Jackman is a self-confessed fan of the Chris Claremont-Frank Miller "Wolverine" comic (1982), especially the Japanese saga: "There are so many areas of that Japanese story. I love the idea of this kind of anarchic character, the outsider, being in this world full of honor and tradition and customs; someone who's really anti-all of that, and trying to negotiate his own way. The idea of the samurai too, and the tradition there - it's really great. In the comic book he gets his ass kicked by a couple of samurai - not even mutants."
Famke Janssen filmed her Jean Gray cameo in three days. Hugh Jackman said, "There's no doubt that the most important relationship in his life is - we've seen through the movies - is his relationship with Jean Grey. Yes, we saw her die at the end of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), but in this movie, she has a presence which I think is vital to the movie, particularly for him confronting the most difficult thing within himself."
In the film Yukio and Viper are mutants whereas Harada is not; it's the other way around in the comics.
Mariko recounts nightmares of a kuzuri. "Kuzuri" is Japanese for "wolverine."
According to Hugh Jackman, Wolverine being surrounded by death while being unable to die due to his healing factor is a major theme in the film: "He realizes everyone he loves dies, and his whole life is full of pain. So it's better that he just escapes. He can't die really. He just wants to get away from everything."
Guillermo del Toro expressed interest in directing, being a fan of the Japanese saga in the "Wolverine" comics. He met with James Gianopulos and Hugh Jackman about directing the film, but ultimately decided he did not wish to spend 2-3 years of his life working on the film.
For the bullet train fight, the actors and stunt performers filmed on wires above a set piece surrounded by a green-screen. The moving background came from filming on an elevated freeway in Tokyo. The visual effects artists got the background from filming with a rig and eight Red Epic cameras angled at 45 degrees. Filming at 60 km/h, the footage was then sped up to 300 km/h.
Hugh Jackman confirmed on having discussions with director James Mangold about test screening a PG-13 rated cut and an R rated cut, but did not comment on filming sequences for them. Although the film was confirmed to be rated PG-13 via a tweet from James Mangold saying "it's PG-13, but don't worry, it ain't Bambi (1942)." An unrated/extended cut is confirmed exclusively for the 3D BLU-RAY release.
According to James Mangold, the film had started out as a prequel to X-Men (2000), but later he decided to make it a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): "I wanted to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it. The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story, and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me that's such an interesting part of Logan's character that it is nearly impossible to explore in a prequel."
Wolverine's claws were redesigned for this film. The older version was a straighter design, but the new claws have more cuts and angles to them, allowing them to reflect light easier. Also, the claws come out of the hand lower, towards the palm, which makes more sense from a scientific perspective. The older claws came out a bit beyond the knuckles. The new claws appear like they come out from in between the fingers, which means they could retract straight back into the forearm.
Simon Kinberg wrote the mid-credits sequence, and it was shot on the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
In the comics Yukio is known for short hair and black leather outfits. In this film Yukio has long red hair and wears clothes influenced mostly by Generation X and anime.
Darren Aronofsky was originally set to direct and worked on the project for six months before departing, citing the long overseas shoot would prevent him from seeing his family (he had just separated from Rachel Weisz, the mother of his child). During his time attached to the film, he rewrote the screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and it is speculated that the real reason for his departure was the studio's unwillingness to approve his draft - which aimed for a hard 'R' rating due to heavy sexual content and brutal violence.
Since he speaks fluent Italian, Hal Yamanouchi dubbed himself for the Italian version.
The Silver Samurai suit was based on a model that had been 3D-printed and chrome-painted using electrolysis.
This is the second movie in the franchise without any opening credits, the title isn't shown until the end of the movie.
According to James Mangold, this film is a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) ("Jean Grey is gone and most of the X-Men are disbanded, so there's a tremendous sense of isolation for Wolverine") but with extended flashbacks.
The receptionist/owner of the hotel pets her cat behind the front desk. In Japanese culture, it is called a 'maneki-neko' (beckoning cat), a good luck charm used for all who enter an establishment.
The movie is written as a stand-alone story, with very little connection to past or future X-Men films. 20th Century Fox embraced the idea of this film being different and were even the ones to come up with the title The Wolverine. The story does feature other mutants, and that includes other mutants from the X-Men universe. Director James Mangold says there was no pressure from the studio to connect this story with the other X-Men films, previous or future. There is no set-up in this story for future films as far as he knows. Mangold says "Our goal is to make something that doesn't rely on franchise."
Almost all the promotional materials for the film and the posters featured a shirtless Hugh Jackman; in contrast, he appears shirtless only in a handful of scenes in the actual film. This was done in order to emphasize the superior shape he got into for the film.
A cynical James Mangold was shocked that 20th Century Fox agreed to let him end the film in the way he wanted.
This is Jackman's sixth portrayal of Logan/Wolverine.
During one scene, a man in the background can be seen wearing a hat that features the logo of Spider-Man, another Marvel Comics character.
According to James Mangold, this film is influenced by the Japanese samurai films 13 Assassins (2010) and Hiroshi Inagaki's Musashi Miyamoto Samurai trilogy; the Westerns Shane (1953) and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976); the crime films The French Connection (1971) and Chinatown (1974); and the dramas Black Narcissus (1947), Floating Weeds (1959), Chungking Express (1994) and Happy Together (1997).
The taxi sign on the roof of the taxi standing outside the "love hotel" in Tokyo, has the X-Men logo on it.
Jessica Biel was offered the role of Viper but a deal couldn't be reached and she dropped out.
Yukio's hair is dyed bright punk red. Actress Rila Fukushima read the comics in preparation for the role, and was shocked that they wanted her to have dyed red hair as her comic book version had long black hair, which is what she has naturally.
The music playing on the radio near the start of the film is from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem Mass (K626).
The first X-Men film, and in fact the first Fox/Marvel film, to be released in 3D and IMAX.
This is the first X-Men film to have an extended version on its Blu-Ray release.
The second X-Men film in which Wolverine uses his bone claws.
Early drafts would have had Logan as the only mutant character.
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When they shot in Japan, the crew wasn't able to completely lock off the streets, so they shot guerrilla style with a Japanese crew trying to block normal people from getting in shots. This movie was showed in chase sequence that takes place in the city streets of Japan with Silver Samurai in black leather with a bow and arrow running around on roof tops trying to shoot Logan down. A real world feel in contemporary city. The cast of the film is almost entirely Japanese.
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The clip of the song that Mariko is listening to on the bullet train is "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft" by the Carpenters.
Rila Fukushima spent a month of training in preparation for the film, doing basic muscle training and working with swords.
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The bolo created for Trinity in The Matrix (1999) is reused in this film - one of the ninjas use it with an ax attached to the end in the ice village sequence. John Bowring created most of the weapons used in the film. He worked on X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Matrix (1999), and created the iconic knife in -Crocodile Dundee (1986).
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Doug Walker aka The Nostalgia Critic had a cameo in the extra scene after the end credits and can be spotted standing in the background behind Wolverine. When Wolverine turns around and sees that everybody at the airport has frozen in time.
The Wolverine (2013) was filmed over a 17 week shoot, with 13 weeks filmed in Australia, and 4 weeks shot in Japan.
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When visiting the Noburo's penthouse, the support beams on the balcony are big Xs that resemble the X-Men logo the films use.
David Leitch says the stunt work in this film is more gritty and grounded in reality in contrast to the previous films. They have decided to tackle more of the stunts using practical means and not rely as much on post production CG.
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In May 2011 Fox was down to a short list of eight candidates to direct: José Padilha, Doug Liman, Antoine Fuqua, Mark Romanek, Justin Lin, Gavin O'Connor, Gary Shore and James Mangold. Out of that list Mangold was chosen.
Jessica Henwick and Katie Leung were considered for the role of Yukio.
Producer Lauren Shuler Donner approached writer Simon Beaufoy to write the script, but Beaufoy did not feel confident enough to commit.
Amir Mokri was the original cinematographer, but he was replaced during filming by second unit director of photography Ross Emery.
The film takes place in 1945 and from 2021 to 2023.
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Wolverine's response after being asked 'How did you know there was a pool down there' ("I didn't") is a reference to the Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971), where the gangster quips "I didn't know there was a pool down there!" after throwing Plenty O'Toole out of a window.
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Togo Igawa was considered for the role of Shingen.
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The Fast and Furious and X-Men franchises have often released the same installments of a franchise in the same year. X-Men 2 (2003) and 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) were both released in 2003, X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) were both released in 2006, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and Fast & Furious (2009) were both released in 2009, X-Men: First Class (2011) and Fast Five (2011) were both released in 2011 and The Wolverine and Fast & Furious 6 (2013) were released in 2013. Furious 7 (2015) was set to be released in 2014, the same year as X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), however it then was pushed to 2015 after Paul Walker's death.
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The movie was being shot on all 6 sound stages at Fox Studios Australia, a international production facility which was also used for The Matrix (1999), Moulin Rouge! (2001), Mission: Impossible II (2000), Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)_ , Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)_ and Superman Returns (2006). The studio is a strange looking facility as it is partly an abandoned theme park. In 1999m Fox opened the $261 million theme park on the grounds (think an experience like Universal Studios Hollywood). Fox Studios Backlot theme park closed in late 2001 due to poor ticket sales. At the time we were visiting, a big tent was set-up in the closed-down theme park area, housing a Cirque du Soleil show.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

An alternate ending was filmed where Yukio presents Logan with a box that contains his yellow Wolverine mask from the comic books. The scene is presented as a bonus feature on the BluRay edition.
Logan refuses to use the name "Wolverine" until later on, when he finally declares it to his enemy Shingen before killing him. This is a homage to the storyline "Old Man Logan", where he renounced the title until the very end when his enemies had slain his family.
The Silver Samurai (Ichiro Yashida) in this film is a combination of Kenuchio Harada (a skilled mutant samurai with a tachyon blade) and his son Shin Harada (who possesses a technologically-advanced suit of armor); Shin himself is a separate character in the film. The Silver Samurai is also based on Ogun, a supervillain and enemy of Wolverine who had given him a sword and tried to steal Wolverine's immortality.
Ian McKellen's cameo as Magneto marks the first time in 10 years that he has played both Magneto and Gandalf in the same year. X-Men 2 (2003) was released in the same year as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), while this film was released in the same year as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013).
Body count: 127.
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