Mangold Talks “The Wolverine” Setting

Filmmaker James Mangold recently spoke with EW about why he decided to set Fox’s upcoming “The Wolverine” after the events of “X-Men: The Last Stand” in the franchise’s continuity. It was a long answer, but in the process Mangold gives some big insight regarding what to expect from the film’s story:

“it’s set after ‘X-Men 3’, but I wouldn’t call it a sequel to ‘X-Men 3’. Because of some of the themes in the Claremont/Miller saga. I felt it was really important to find at a moment where he was stripped clean of his duties to the X-Men, his other allegiances, and even stripped clean of his own sense of purpose.

I was fascinated with the idea of portraying Logan as a ronin – the definition of which is a samurai without a master, without a purpose. Kind of a soldier who is cut loose. War is over. What does he do? What does he face? What does he believe anymore? Who are his friends? What is his reason for being here anymore? I think those questions are especially interesting when you’re dealing with a character who is essentially immortal.”

What I wrote on the back of the script when I first read it was ‘Everyone I love will die’. The story I’ve been telling, he enters it believing that. Therefore he’s living in a kind of isolation. He gets drawn to Japan by an old friendship and then finds himself in a labyrinth of deceit, caught up in the agendas of mobsters, of wealth, and other powers we come to understand…

You find Logan and his love is gone, his mentors are gone, many of his friends are gone, his own sense of purpose – what am I doing, why do I bother – and his exhaustion is high. He has lived a long time, and he’s tired. He’s tired of the pain.”