With the start date of “The Wolverine” recently being pushed from this fall until next spring (so that Hugh Jackman can star in Tom Hooper‘s “Les Miserables“), the filmmakers are making the curious decision to rewrite the Christopher McQuarrie script that, according to everybody, was great and good to go before Darren Aronofksy bailed and the earthquake shook Japan. Typical Fox meddling? A need for more explosions? Unnecessary tinkering? Or truly making it the best story it can be? It’s probably a bit of each, but fans should be worried as Variety reports that Mark Bomback, the man behind “Live Free Or Die Hard,” “Unstoppable” and next year’s “Total Recall” reboot is now taking his word processor to the material.
Details on the exact story have been slim so far, with the Japanese setting and Silver Samurai villain it appeared that they were sticking pretty close to Chris Claremont‘s mythology for the character outlined in his acclaimed storyline, and that, at least, still appears to be the case. The logline for the film finds “Wolverine suffering from amnesia and searching for answers about his past in the Japanese criminal underworld where he finds both love and tragedy.” However, the most interesting bit is that Viper — who has worked with Silver Samurai in comics lore — will be given a bigger role here and we presume will be another baddie that Wolverine will have to square off against. She’s listed as being “the Caucasian secretary for Japan’s Minister of Justice” but we presume that’s just her cover or something.
So is this good news or bad news? Hard to say really. We can’t imagine things getting any worse than “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and Jackman is determined to make sure this entry does the fans proud, but we really hope the studio and/or the actor aren’t second guessing themselves. The expansion of Viper’s role does suggest that Claremont’s comic will merely serve as an outline and that they will take bits and pieces from throughout the comic’s lore. Still, we remain optimistic. Wolverine is a great character in need of a proper big screen story and the Japanese timeline is considered the best.
James Mangold directs and the film, we’re guessing, will likely arrive summer 2013.