Hugh Jackman has a villain for Fox’s “X-Men” prequel, “Wolverine.” Will Yun Lee will play Kenuichio Harada, a.k.a. the Silver Samurai, for those of you that follow the Marvel comic. James Mangold (“3:10 to Yuma,” “Walk the Line”) is directing the pic from a Christopher McQuarrie script.
Filming starts in Jackman’s native Australia starting next month (although it is set primarily in Japan). Lee is also playing the villain in “Red Dawn” with Chris Hemsworth (out November 21), and appears in the upcoming “Total Recall” remake and South Korean dance musical “Cobu 3D.” His past credits also include “Elektra,” “Die Another Day” and TV’s “Hawaii Five-0.”
Up next for Jackman is Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables,” currently in post gearing up for a December 14 release and inevitable Oscar campaign.
Darren Aronofsky was previously attached to direct “Wolverine,” but had the calling to helm “Noah”‘s ark. “Wolverine” is not to be confused with Gavin Hood’s 2009 “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which was a critical failure (box office did just fine with $400 million worldwide) that relied entirely on Jackman’s commitment and charisma. There’s reason to hope this prequel will score higher with the McQuarrie script; his credits include “The Usual Suspects,” “Valkyrie,” “The Tourist” and “Jack Reacher.”