MOTW: Five Surprising Facts about "The Wolverine"

Photo Credit: FOX
July 24th, 2013

Five Surprising Facts about "The Wolverine"

"The Wolverine" is the long-awaited sequel to the 2006 film, "X-Men: The Last Stand." The film begins when Wolverine travels to Japan to meet up with an old enemy and settle a score that is long overdue. While he's there, Wolverine must face his personal demons, which prove to be an even greater challenge than the foe who called him to Japan. While plenty of longtime fans are eagerly awaiting the film's release and looking out for any new information that comes out, there are still some interesting facts that fans may not know about "The Wolverine."

Hugh Jackman is a Fan

It's not uncommon for actors starring in films based on comic books to learn about their characters for the first time when they accept their roles. This is not the case with Hugh Jackman-the iconic star of "The Wolverine." Jackman admits that he loved the 1982 comic book of the same name, penned by Frank Miller and Chris Claremont. Considering that he's such a big fan of the comic book character, it's no surprise that "The Wolverine" will mark the sixth time that Hugh Jackman has played the beloved character on the big screen.

A Change in Direction

Darren Aronofsky was the original director of "The Wolverine," but the lengthy filming process would have kept him away from his family for too long. He worked on the film for a period of six months before handing over the reins to James Mangold. Under Aronofsky, the film was slated to be the first R-rated film of the franchise, but Mangold took a more family-friendly approach. While "The Wolverine" will still feature plenty of action, violence, and suspenseful moments, the film has earned a solid PG-13 rating from the MPAA. This is good news for younger comic book fans who would certainly be disappointed if they weren't allowed to see the latest film.

Out of Order

While it may seem like "The Wolverine" is a sequel to the 2009 film, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," it's actually not. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" was a prequel that started out long before Professor Charles Xavier launched the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, following Wolverine's early years. "X-Men: The Last Stand" is actually the most recent film in the X-Men chronology, and it ended with the death of Jean Gray, Logan's longtime friend and occasional love interest. "The Wolverine" was originally planned as another prequel to the X-Men universe, but director James Mangold decided to go in a different direction. "The Wolverine" picks up where that film left off and shows Wolverine trying to pick up the pieces after Jean's Phoenix powers consumed her.

Preparing for the Role

Achieving Wolverine's rippling muscles isn't an easy feat for those not gifted with borderline immortality and superhuman strength. Hugh Jackman reportedly consumed 6,000 calories a day, mostly of rice and lean meat, to bulk up for his role as the muscular mutant. Jackman consulted the retired wrestling powerhouse, Dwayne Johnson, for nutrition and fitness information to prepare for the film, and it shows. Jackman went as far as to adopt a dehydration diet, during which he would fast from all liquids for three days at a time before he shot a scene.

Jean Gray Returns

She may have died at the end of "X-Men: The Last Stand" but, like the Phoenix, Jean Gray rises from the ashes to appear in "The Wolverine." Although Jean was officially engaged to Cyclops, the default leader of the X-Men team, she and Wolverine had their fair share of on-screen chemistry. The superhuman love triangle reached its greatest intensity when Wolverine was forced to put Jean out of her misery by killing the Phoenix before it could destroy the world. Jean makes a substantial cameo appearance in "The Wolverine," helping Logan face his inner demons, including the guilt he feels over taking her life. Jean's presence may prove to be what saves Wolverine from his greatest enemy, which has always been inside of him.

"The Wolverine" is one of the most highly anticipated 2013 summer films for good reason. If the comic movie genre is known for one thing, it's keeping audiences on their toes. Directors of movies based on comic books are faced with the unique challenge of staying true to the comics while changing storylines and characters enough to keep things fresh for their audiences. "The Wolverine" promises to do just that, and the film has had almost as many twists and turns in the production process as in the script itself. Look out for signs of these interesting facts when you watch the film.