This afternoon, Hugh Jackman and James Mangold sat down for a live chat to answer questions about the new Wolverine film. They covered a lot of material about the details of the film. Here are some of the highlights… be sure to check out the whole thing below.
Q: Where does this story fit into the X-Men timeline?
James Mangold: This film situates itself after the three X-Men movies that exist and finds Logan at a point when the X-Men are gone, Jean Grey is gone, a lot of the ties he had to the world are gone. It was very important to me, I wanted to place this movie in a story where Hugh and I could allow it to create its own world. Not having to answer to another movie or hand-off to another movie, that we could kind of do what we wanted to do and take him where we were going to take him. I also think it’s a really interesting place to find Logan, which is at this moment when almost every intimate connection he’s had to the world is destroyed or broken.
Hugh Jackman: He’s definitely at his lowest point at the beginning of this movie. You’ll see him more vulnerable than you’ve ever seen him before. So it’s a fantastic place to start and having Jim there has been amazing. We worked together before on Kate & Leopold, but he pushes me, probably like no one else does. It’s been good.
Mangold: We have a lot of fun. For me, making a lot of dramas…on one side it’s a different sort of challenge, and on the other, it’s not a challenge at all, meaning that my goal is to try and bring the realism and acting you might find in a straight drama with the intentions and conflict, where it doesn’t feel tongue-in-cheek, but rather committed and real.
Q: What sort of enemies does Wolverine face in this film?
Mangold: Yakuza, industrialists, politicians, women of varying degrees of “what are they? Who are they? Can I trust them?” It’s a labyrinth. I think that one of the things we’re trying to do in this picture, there’s an array…other mutants…there’s an array of people he will come in contact with, both good, bad and a question mark. I think part of the energy of the film…most superhero movies are eminently clear about who the “bad guy” is at the beginning and who the heroes have to battle to save this plot of land or group of people from the bad guys. This is a film where it is much more of a mystery or a labyrinth. Who can I trust? Where can I trust? It’s part of what makes it so interesting that Logan enters the story trusting no one, because he then has to come through this array of people he meets in Japan of good, bad and indifferent.
Jackman: I don’t want this to sound cheesy, but I think also, himself. More than ever we’ve explored this war within himself, which is so endemic, which is why people love the character. In this movie, we explore his immortality, the burden of that. At the beginning of this movie, he’s finding it tough to find a reason to live. That essential battle goes with him throughout the movie and is one of the really important things.
Mangold: When I got involved with the project, one of the huge things that was inspiring to me was this aspect of, if you place the story after the other X-Men films where he’s lost everything, and you’re faced with the theme of the weight for gods, which that’s what superheroes are in a way. The weight of forever. The heavy burden of living forever and what it means…The aspects of living forever and losing everyone you love, what is it like to live, essentially, forever? To keep trudging on, to keep rescuing humanity…
Jackman: I remember our first conversation, actually, you said to me, “Enough with the, ‘I can’t remember what happened to me…what was my past? Who am I?’” We’ve explored it enough. It’s more like the future, how do I live with myself? How do I live with whatever knowledge I have and whatever’s happened. By this point, there is enough knowledge…I thought that was such a fresh perspective and more interesting for people to follow as a storyline.