The Wolverine (2013) Poster



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Young Yashida gives Wolverine a samurai sword with six Kanji letters engraved on it. These kanji read, "Never Died, Never Aged, Never Destroyed." This is appropriate 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 thirty-six hours before filming his shirtless shots. He said it made him feel "headachy" and faint, but he was pleased with the results, as dehydrating tightened 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 (twenty-four weeks) by eating six thousand 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 atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the film itself opens with the Nagasaki bombing).
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.
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 five 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.
Mariko recounts nightmares of a kuzuri. "Kuzuri" is Japanese for "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."
In the film, Yukio and Viper are mutants, whereas Harada is not. It's the other way around in the comics.
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 two to three years of his life, working on the film.
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."
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 and extended cut is confirmed exclusively for the 3-D Blu-ray release.
Simon Kinberg wrote the mid-credits sequence, and it was shot on the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
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."
A cynical James Mangold was shocked that 20th Century Fox agreed to let him end the film in the way he wanted.
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. 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."
For the bullet train fight, the actors and stunt performers filmed on wires above a set piece surrounded by greenscreen. 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 forty-five degrees. Filming at sixty kilometers per hour, the footage was then sped up to three hundred kilometers per hour.
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 animé.
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 re-wrote 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 3-D-printed and chrome-painted using electrolysis.
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.
This is the second movie in the franchise without any opening credits. The title is not shown until the end of the movie.
The taxi sign on the roof of the taxi standing outside the "love hotel" in Tokyo, has the X-Men logo on it.
The receptionist and 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.
Almost all the promotional materials for the film featured a shirtless Hugh Jackman. In contrast, he appears shirtless only in a few scenes in the final film. This was done in order to emphasize the superior shape, into which he got, for the film.
Yukio's hair is dyed bright punk red. 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.
Rila Fukushima spent a month of training in preparation for the film, doing basic muscle training, and working with swords.
This is Jackman's sixth portrayal of Logan, a.k.a. 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.
Jessica Biel was offered the role of Viper, but a deal couldn't be reached, and she dropped out.
The music playing on the radio near the start of the film is from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem Mass (K626).
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.
Early drafts would have had Logan as the only mutant character.
The first X-Men film, and in fact the first Fox/Marvel film, to be released in 3-D and IMAX.
According to James Mangold, this film is influenced by the Japanese samurai films Jûsan-nin no shikaku (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 bolo created for Trinity, in The Matrix (1999), is re-used in this film. One of the ninjas uses 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).
Doug Walker a.k.a. 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.
This is the first X-Men film to have an extended version on its Blu-ray release.
The Wolverine (2013) was filmed over a seventeen week shoot, with thirteen weeks filmed in Australia, and four weeks shot in Japan.
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 CGI.
The clip of the song that Mariko is listening to on the bullet train is "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft" by the Carpenters.
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 features a 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 a contemporary city. The cast of the film is almost entirely Japanese.
When visiting the Noburo's penthouse, the support beams on the balcony are big Xs that resemble the X-Men film logo.
In May 2011, 20th Century 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.
Rila Fukushima and Tao Okamato would go on to star in DC Comics properties, with Fukushima playing Tatsu Yamashiro, a.k.a. Katana in the CW series Arrow (2012), while Okamato played Mercy Graves in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
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Jessica Henwick and Katie Leung were considered for the role of Yukio.
Producer Lauren Shuler Donner approached Simon Beaufoy to write the script, but Beaufoy did not feel confident enough to commit.
The Fast and Furious and X-Men franchises have often released the same installments of a franchise in the same year. X2: X-Men United (2003) and 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) were released in 2003, X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) were released in 2006, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and Fast & Furious (2009) were released in 2009, X: First Class (2011) and Fast Five (2011) were released in 2011, and this movie and 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. Both franchises would once again release a sequel in 2017. Logan and The Fate of the Furious were released in within a month of each other.
Amir Mokri was the original Cinematographer, but he was replaced during filming by Second Unit Director of Photography Ross Emery.
Togo Igawa was considered for the role of Shingen.
The movie was being shot on all six 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). In 1999, Fox opened the two hundred sixty-one million dollar 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.
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The Silver Samurai in the comics was not a big machine made out of adamantium like in this movie. The machine in the movie is more like Shiva from the comic books.
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First X-Men film not released in the Spring, since X-Men (2000). Every film in-between has been released between mid-April to early June.
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After Darren Aronofsky left the project, Antoine Fuqua was considered to direct.
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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 Blu-ray.
Logan refuses to use the name "Wolverine" until later on, when he finally declares it to his enemy Shingen before killing him. This is an homage to the storyline "Old Man Logan", where he renounced the title until the very end, when his enemies had slain his family.
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."
Body count: one hundred twenty-seven.
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.
The second X-Men film in which Wolverine uses his bone claws.
Sir Ian McKellen's cameo as Magneto marks the first time in ten years that he has played both Magneto and Gandalf in the same year. X2: X-Men United (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).

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