The Wolverine

Forget about X-men Origins: Wolverine… A difficult task, I know, but this new movie shouldn’t have anything to do with the characters that were terribly jammed into the first Wolverine movie. The new movie, titled The Wolverine, will NOT be a sequel to the abominable “BarakaPool” story line, according to director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan).  With Aronofsky at the helm and writer Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, The way of the Gun, Valkyrie, The Tourist) penning the screen play, I am intrigued.

In the comic book world, Wolverine was created by writer Len Wein and artist John Romita. Here is one of John Romita’s concept sketches for the Wolverine:

Wolverine was introduced to us on the last page of The Incredible Hulk, issue #180…

Followed by his first cover appearance on issue # 181 of the Hulk

Wolverine was used in a few other comic book series for Marvel as a supporting character. He was memorable as a member of the Uncanny Xmen for many years, a member of the Canadian super group Alpha Flight, and even as an Avenger alongside Iron Man and Captain America.

First appearing in the 1970’s as a supporting character, it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that the disgruntled animal like mutant was given a starring role.  Chris Claremont and Frank Miller wrote the comic book mini-series Wolverine.

Yes, the very same Frank Miller that went on to revive a new dark Daredevil for Marvel, save Batman for DC by writing The Dark Knight Returns, later creating the graphic novels Sin City and 300, then revising his take on Batman again with The Dark Knight Strikes Again.  Claremont also has an impressive resume with graphic novel credits including The X-men, Star Trek, Alien vs Predator, and The Fantastic Four.

The Wolverine is supposed to be loosely based on the Japanese part of the 4 issue series by Miller and Claremont.  The mini-series is often credited with propelling Wolverine from being an obscure comic book character to one of the most popular of all time.

In the movie, we should see Wolverine in Japan portrayed as the complex personality we’re used to.  He learns to love and respect the Japanese culture.  He will be in a complicated relationship situation where he is wanted by a mysterious admirer named Yukio, while he falls in love with a young lady named Mariko Yashida, who is promised away by her father to marry another man.

We may see Wolverine fight and kill hoardes of Ninjas, Samurai and even possibly a Sumo wrestler.  If we’re lucky, we may even see the Silver Samurai.

The Silver Samurai was in the original 4 issue mini-series, but he wasn’t fully developed as the later works from Claremont.  Wolverine and the Silver Samurai have had some great fights over the years, they are poised for some epic battles on the big screen.  If you can’t wait for the movie, Frank Miller and Chris Claremont released and elaborated hardcover edition of Wolverine.

Aronofsky was interviewed by HitFix and he said that The Wolverine will be a “one-off,” or standalone project.  I hope he is telling the truth and that this movie is NOT a sequel to the junk Fox put out in 2009.  Even though I am weary of trusting Fox and their producers, I think the film is in good hands.  I’m anxious to see this movie even though it will most likely be rated PG-13 so the studio can make millions marketing it to kids.  I know adult Wolverine fans would love to see this movie explore the possibilities of an R rating with all the killing, I just don’t think it’s possible with the amount of money to be made off the expanded market of a lower rating.

Hugh Jackman was interviewed by MTV recently and he said that he is flying to Japan soon, as production is already underway.  Actually filming in Japan with a crew of proven professional film makers where we see ninjas and samurai get sliced up by the Wolverine…  I think Fox has a real chance at redeeming themselves with this one.  The release date has not yet been announced.

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