When your primary superpower is stabbing people with six razor-sharp knives, it’s impossible to make a bloodless film. Director James Mangold discovered that while working on “The Wolverine,” the fifth film starring Hugh Jackman in the titular role of the hirsute berserker.
And with Mangold’s desire to do a back-to-basics film about the brawling mutant following 2009′s unfocused “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” he knew that meant getting violent.
“I was amazed that the trims we made to get a PG-13 were not devastating to the movie,” Mangold told MTV News’ Josh Horowitz. “The movie is mostly old-fashioned sword warfare — and arrows — so in many ways we dodged the kind of intense violence of guns.”
The film is based on the character’s first ever solo outing, 1982′s “Wolverine” by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. In the comic book limited series, Wolverine travels to Japan to reconnect with a woman that he’s fallen in love with (Mariko Yashida) and gets caught up in a war between a clan of ninjas and the Japanese crime syndicate known as the Yakuza. Wolverine’s claws clash with ancient katana blades in the story, just as they do in the big screen adventure. But not everything made the final cut, Mangold reveals.
“Obviously when you get to the length we had, there will be some extras that people will see, in some kind of unrated version of the movie coming out.” The film as it stands takes the hero physically further than any other; Jackman’s jacked beyond belief and Wolverine’s body count rises higher than ever before. The thought of an unrated version of this already action-packed adventure could send fans’ minds reeling.
Wolverine finds himself tangling with foes in entirely new and unexpected locations, like on the outside of a bullet train and through the crowded city streets of Japan. His opponents prove to be as formidable as him, including the deadly Viper and Harada, an ally of the Yashida family and the leader of a clan of ninjas. Fans have wanted to see Wolverine throw down with ninjas on the big screen since Jackman’s first appearance as the character back in 2000′s “X-Men,” and Mangold granted that wish. But, he promises, there’s even more ninja-goodness where that came from.
“There’s a larger fight in the ice village when he meets with Harada’s men, that you will see parts of,” reveals the director. “That actually wasn’t about ratings. It was just about — I thought that except for the most die-hard lover of fights, [the movie] flows better emotionally the way it works [without the scenes].”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Wolverine.”