What did we learn from The Wolverine trailer?

Feature James Hunt 28 Mar 2013 - 07:18

Ninjas, Hugh Jackman, 3D, Japan and muscles: we take a closer look at the first trailer for The Wolverine...

It's strangely appropriate for a Wolverine trailer to arrive in three cuts, but after a six-second teaser two days ago and a 20-second version yesterday, Fox has finally released the full, 135-second version of the on-again, off-again, on-again Wolverine movie titled simply: The Wolverine. You can see it here.

A standalone solo movie set in the X-Men movie continuity, The Wolverine is also set chronologically after X-Men: The Last Stand. That's right! It's not a prequel! Fire the confetti cannons and break out the champagne, because after the disappointment that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this one is already looking a lot more positive.

Now, details about The Wolverine have been fairly slim up until this point. We knew it was going to involve a trip to Japan and be based, loosely, on the original 'Wolverine' mini-series by comicbook legends, Chris Claremont and Frank Miller - but this trailer gives us the first indication of what that actually means. So what can we learn from it?

Cold As Ice

One of the big problems with the last Wolverine movie was that the story didn't seem to know what it was doing. It loosely adapted the character's transformation into Weapon X but never quite found the tragic core of that story. Here, the trailer is at great pains to make us aware that this is very much a character piece, asking the question: what does it do to someone when they can't help but outlive everyone and everything they've ever cared about?

At the start of the trailer, Wolverine is wrestling with the consequences of just that situation. The woman he loved is dead. Without Xavier and his cause, he's got no place with the X-Men. And he's returned to Canada, hoping to find peace, and finding only conflict. You might be rolling your eyes at the prospect of yet another 'dark' superhero movie – but for a change, this one actually seems to have something to say about the darkness. And, more importantly, escaping it. Are we giving it too much credit? Let's hope not.

Turning Japanese

Wolverine might come from Canada, but Claremont and Miller gave him a second home in Japan, as he learnt to temper his berserker fury with a warrior's sense of honour. Rather than cramming itself full of mutants cameos for no good reason (sorry, Gambit) The Wolverine is bringing in multiple members of the character's supporting cast. The trailer includes versions of Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a devil-may-care martial artist who becomes Wolverine's ally, Shingen Yashida (Hiroyuki Sanada), a wealthy Japanese crime boss, Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto), Shingen's daughter, and Kenuichio Harada (Will Yun Lee), aka the Silver Samurai.

The question, of course, is how they're going to be used. Unlike the cameos in the previous film, these characters aren't exactly bankable names where the general public is concerned, so it's a safe bet they've been chosen for a good reason. Right now, we can only wonder why it is that Shingen seems so eager to 'help' Wolverine. Is it really just because he's repaying his debt, or does he want Logan to be off the board for some more criminal purpose?

And as anyone comics reader knows, wherever Wolverine goes, ninjas aren't far behind. Chances are they'll be as completely ineffectual in the movies as they are in the comics, but if you don't like the idea of Wolverine fighting ninjas, this probably isn't the movie for you…

Power Cuts

The trailer leaves us in no doubt that a major component of this film is going to be Wolverine losing his healing powers – and perhaps not as voluntarily as Shingen's initial narration suggests. At one point, he's strapped into some contraption while Viper looks on, not entirely benevolently.

At first glance, this seems like forced jeopardy. A result of that old chestnut levelled against the most popular superheroes: Wolverine is too powerful, so weakening him introduces an element of uncertainty into the story.

But obviously, Wolverine isn't going to die in this film. So what's the point of this power-loss plot?

Well, there's a certain amount of character logic to making him vulnerable: it stops him from taking his continued existence for granted. But further than that, the intro makes it clear that Wolverine doesn't have a problem with his own survival: it's the loss of others that eats at him. Weaker, less powerful, more vulnerable to injury, keeping those he loves alive will be harder than ever.

So, after all that, we're cautiously optimistic that this will actually be a movie worthy of the character's name. Admittedly, it's an unusually pensive trailer for what's supposed to be an action blockbuster, but maybe that's a good thing. This time, it's focusing on the character and his world, not trying to expand the X-Men universe. In fact, if this film's half as good as the trailer suggests, we can't think of any reason people wouldn't enjoy it.

And Then There's...

Oh, right. Well, you can always keep one eye shut, I suppose…

The Wolverine is released internationally on July 24th 2013, and July 26th in the United States.

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Disqus - noscript

This is bugging me - if he can't heal then he can't use his claws right?

You guys are forgetting a key piece to the story, assuming Mangold keeps near to the comic arc; Silver Samurai. He is certainly going to become more and more significant to the plot as it unfolds. My guess is, he will be left standing as the credits roll...

He can still pop the claws but the wounds they create won't heal. I'm more concerned with him rapidly dying from metal poisoning since his healing factor is the only thing stopping that.

I'm one of the few that enjoyed origins. Gambit was a total disappointment, it should have been Adrian Paul, n he should've appeared in an xmen film, not wolverine. I must say that I never read a deadpool comic until after, so the mouth sewn shut clawed lasered and teleporting aspect didn't bother me. He could just rip the stitches and call cable (Stephen Lang) and domino (Milla Jovovich) for an xforce movie. I will say though that this looks better because of the reasons in the article, but as one that doesn't mind lots of characters, I guess I'll just have to get used to no Dolph Lundgren Omega Red. Maybe next time.

the fact is no where does it suggest he has "no" healing ability it just hints that it has been slowed down, which may come to a stop!
I think it will and the mutant gene will take over and he will never beable to reverse it.
I think there going for the part of logans life when he hasnt realised he is aging and he will die, eventually, but he doesnt know it yet.
The problem wolverine has he doesnt know if he will die before the end of the universe!

Was really nonplussed after watching the trailer. What's with this no healing business? I thought they said they would make it R rated because everyone wants to see Wolverine jumping around unstoppably kicking ass like he should be. I'm worried Hugh is just going to be shouting a lot and getting his ass beaten like usual.

Well if he doesn't get his healing power back he's not wolverine. That's like Namor minus neck gills, or hulk with the powers and all, but pink. Not Caucasian pink. Hot pink.

Sounds good...jokes if the took his powers, claws pop out and he just collapses of bloodloss because the healing factor hadn't kicked in. (like when Magneto took away the adamantium)

Is it just me or does this film a little more artsy than the others in the X-Men series? I quite like that. It feels like Crouching Tiger was crossed with Lost in Translation. I'm glad we're past the stage of assuring people that superhero movies work and now studios are willing to take proper risks. This looks like it might be the standalone Wolverine deserves. I hope it delivers. And I hope producers keep making 'different' comic book films from now on!

If Days of Future past is a reboot/erasing of the original x-men universe and Wolverine takes place after X-men 3 Is it at all possible that Wolverine could actually die in this one. It could be like 'The End' comics. I doubt it would ever happen

You know it...I know it....this movie will suck massive Ogre balls ! Why oh why is it being released in gay D ??

I don't read many comics, so I don't compare the movies to them. I found all the X Men movies very enjoyable and I really want to watch this one.

live action x-men are never good but looking forward to seeing the sliver samurai

No Wolverine in an X-Men film?

I like Adrian Paul. He was terrific in the Highlander series, easily the best of the Highlander characters in all its incarnations. A bit old casting wise for the part here, though, these days, isn't he?

Has Mom gotten her computer back yet?

Caucasian pink?!
You mean white then homebro...

That would be awesome... truly, truly awesome.

Then like you say they have DoFP to bring him back, if they wanna...

I don't understand what you're saying? what may come to a stop? what won't he be able to reverse?

True he is old, but he may have been young enough in the first 3 xmen films. And surviving those he would be a known face, old or not, in any films after. I think maybe Sly Stallone would have made a good wolverine, it just came to me cuz I'm watching Rambo 4. And he's old as crap. But there are few tougher actors. And he aint no actor's actor. He's an action star. Jackman is a method actor. Who is also ripped.

Yeah that

In my opinion, X3 went way overboard with his healing power. It's enhanced to a degree that he effectively becomes impossible to stop. Think about the scenes with Jean Grey/Phoenix where he is basically healing instantaneously from having his skin and muscle burned down to the bone. So it will be refreshing to have them scale it back...

Oh I see, gambit should've appeared in an xmen film, not wolverine origins. Didn't know what u meant there

Scaling back I agree with, but I don't think the timing of his super healing was inappropriate in x3, since it was his 3rd outing. I think though that magneto toying with him was getting a bit cute and he never even attempted to extract his adamantium, which I'm pretty sure happened in the comics. Maybe the first time he stopped wolverine he should have done so or attempted and been thwarted, and then... I don't know what cuz the movie kinda gets all jean greyish after that.

Oh, I don't think Adrian Paul is old, he's just older than most of the casting for the lesser parts in the X-Men universe. They tend to go for more established types in the biggest roles, who of course tend to be older, while the lesser known superheroes get the kiddie corps casting.

Interesting thought about Sly. Since the Wolverine of the comic books is not exactly the 6 foot 3 matinee idol that Hugh Jackman is -- what is he, 5-3 and decidedly sawed off? -- Sly is probably a lot closer to Wolverine's original look and style. He is more like the berserker of the comics.

That said, I think Jackman -- as a guy with very serious dramatic acting chops, real range, and a flair for comedy, who is also convincing at action -- has always brought a lot to the table for the part.

anyone understand the last lines that are muttered in the US trailer?

Then why not just say hot pink?
White is white, not friggin pink...
You're a racist bro.

Say, James, where is your Star Trek TNG Revisited piece this week? I think the next ep is the conspiracy one with alien monsters and stuff. You should have fun with that.

And of course we are approaching the big upcoming Star Trek movie, so Trek's various guises are fair game all years ...

No argument there, I personally never thought of anyone other than jackman as wolverine until that comment up there, and maybe sly would have nailed it in the 80's, but would it have been iconic like rocky and Rambo or forgotten like lundgren's punisher? Moot point I'm sure, and yeah his 1000 yard stare would have been great, and I sort of picture the cliffhanger Stallone. Anyway, yeah jackman holds the record for playing a comic book character in film. Christopher reeves and Alfred from the Keaton to Clooney batmans tied at 4, and rdj will have played IM 5 times. This will be jackman's 6th time. Days of future past will make 7. he's oft maligned, but he must be doing something right, plus the reasons u stated, which I agree with.
Adrian Paul, just wouldn't happen. That'd be like getting Rene O'connor as marvel girl. Awesome, but it ain't finna happen, son

I thought Adrian Paul was great as the Highlander. At one time, he might have made a very good Bond, too.

Racist shmacist, if u don't think it's funny then I joked with the wrong audience, but I ain't no racist. if I offended you then I'm sorry. Period. I ain't makin no excuse for that. But if you knew me at all you'd know I ain't no racist n I ain't wastin my time tryin to explain myself on the Internet. It was a joke. Laugh or don't laugh.

Apologie accepted.

But a word of advice, the Internet ain't no place to post any kind of 'ism/ ist' joke cause someone somewhere won't laugh...

You mean him rather than Brosnan? I'd watch it

Brosnan was a good Bond. Just saying Adrian Paul would have been good.



Too bad Brosnan didn't get better movies, though most of his weren't bad at all.

Aside from bond, and yes I did like him as bond particularly goldeneye which movie and 64 game I enjoyed immensely, I liked him in mars attacks, Dante's peak, and yes mrs doubtfire. There was also on called livewire I watched once as a kid, that was good from what I remember anyway. And of course around the world in 80 days. I still remember him firing his butler for being a few minutes late after years of service. Ouch

GoldenEye is one of the best Bonds, with the best pair of Bond Girls.

He was very good in Noble House, too.

Never seen it, will look it up

Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) would have been a better Gambit I'd say, has the look and the personality. Good call on Dolph Lundgren though!

It was a big minseries in '88 based on a James Clavell novel.

It's set in 1980s Hong Kong.

Brosnan plays the taipan of the Noble House, ie., head of the biggest trading company in Hong Kong. John Rhys Davies is head of a rival trading company.

Lots of intrigue, corporate and Cold War, and amazing Eurasian women including the very young Tia Carrere as the aptly named Venus Poon. (Though Julia Nickson, the woman in Rambo, plays a much more significant role.)

Brosnan plays the commanding Brit prick with a heart and ultimately discernible sense of humor to a T.

The trailer does look good, but I just hope the sequel avoids the plot holes of the first movie. And where'd Sabretooth go?

TNG revisited skipped a week due to the friday bank holiday, should be back this week!


I get a kick out of them. Plus, you get some proper horror this episode!

I wonder does wolverine healing factor suppress pain a little? I know the first movie he said(about his claws) it hurts every time. So without it will popping those bad boysalmost cripple him? And i thought adamantium secretes a sort of "poison" that would kill a normal person. So would that also make it a problem? Still want to see this.

Not all "white" people are the color of righting paper mor peach pink so he's not wrong you are. And racist? Do you even know what it means?

Funny thing is the adamantium is always battling his healing factor which stunts the speed. With out it it would be even faster. But he'd bemore vulnerable.with it he's magnetos puppet without it he might give magneto a challenge.

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