‘Wolverine’ Draws From The Source Material Says Director James Mangold

We continue to hold onto cautious optimism and enthusiasm when thinking about and anticipating the release of “The Wolverine,” especially when we keep hearing about potential X-Men cameos and positive endorsements and such.

And today we have new excitement to pore over from director James Mangold, via a lengthy interview with EW’s CapeTown in which he addresses following Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s original storyline and playing with Wolverine’s vulnerability and emotional baggage.

“A lot of that story and a lot of beats from that saga are in there — and a lot of characters,” Mangold said about including the Claremont/Miller source material. “Without being religious about it, I think it’s a very admiring adaptation. Obviously when you’re adapting anything you make some changes. But all the characters are there – Yukio, Viper, Mariko, Shingen, and Logan obviously. The whole cast of characters that exist in that world exists in our film.”

Speaking to why he wanted to set the story after all the previous “X-Men”-focused or related films, Mangold said he thought it important and more interesting for Logan to be “stripped clean of his duties to the X-Men.”

“I was fascinated with the idea of portraying Logan as a ronin – the definition of which is a samurai without a master, without a purpose. Kind of a soldier who is cut loose,” he explained. “War is over. What does he do? What does he face? What does he believe anymore? Who are his friends? What is his reason for being here anymore? I think those questions are especially interesting when you’re dealing with a character who is essentially immortal.”

And for those who may have scratched their heads when Mangold was announced as the director, since his previous films like “Walk The Line,” “3:10 To Yuma,” and “Kate and Leopold” are not comic book-related, let him assure you that he is well-versed in the worlds of Marvel and DC.

“I couldn’t tell you why they hired me, but I can tell you why I wanted it,” Mangold said. “I have a long friendship with Hugh Jackman [via their 2001 romantic comedy “Kate & Leopold”] And I’m a huge comic book collector. When I was a kid, I had both Marvel and DC. I was my own librarian. I made card files. I had origin stories of all the characters, and cross-referenced when they appeared in other comic books. I was full on. For me, watching this decade of superhero films and having not participated while I was making other movies, what was interesting to me – and it had not been done, with a few exceptions – was to be free to tell a real story of an immortal character.”

Click over to EW for more from the full, lengthy interview!

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