"The Wolverine" is not a prequel to the "X-Men" series, so it is confirmed by director James Mangold. Debunking swirling speculations that the upcoming Hugh Jackman-starring movie will serve as an "X-Men" prequel, the filmmaker states that the new movie will take place in the time when the trilogy is finished.
"Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all," Mangold opens up about the Marvel movie to Empire. He goes on explaining, "Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there's a tremendous sense of isolation for him."
Mangold insists that "Wolverine" is a standalone film despite the fact that several on-set photos suggest some of the scenes will take place during the World War II era. Additionally, it has recently been rumored that Famke Janssen will make appearance as Logan's unrequited love Jean Grey, who was last seen getting killed off at the end of "X-Men: The Last Stand".
"That's something that for me was very important, that I land in a very specific place in his timeline," Mangold explains further. "I wanted to be able 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 is nearly impossible to explore if you have a kind of league or team movie."
In addition to the interview with Mangold, Empire unveils an intriguing new photo of Logan sporting Wolverine's bone claws. The bone claws grow as part of Logan's genetic mutation before he joined the X-Men. The claws were later getting clad in adamantium as part of the Weapon X program.
Slated for a July 26, 2013 release in the U.S. cinemas, "The Wolverine" will find Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.