Exclusive The Wolverine Casting News!

Hiroyuki Sanada (“Lost,” Rush Hour 3, The Last Samurai) is set to play Shingen; veteran actor Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Push, Sinbad of the Seven Seas) plays Yashida; and new discoveries Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima will star as Mariko and Yukio, respectively. While none of these actors have much of a following outside of Japan, the fact that a major studio is trying to keep some authenticity in a film of this magnitude is very encouraging.

The one nugget of a storyline the studio has released is that the film is inspired by the celebrated Marvel comic book arc by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller and that The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel clashes with adamantium claws as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.

And contrary to previous reports, while much of the stage work will take place in Australia, a chunk of the shoot is scheduled to happen on locations around Japan. The film is set for a July 26, 2013 release with James Mangold directing. “X-Men” mainstay Lauren Shuler Donner will produce with Hugh Jackman, John Palermo and Hutch Parker.

(Photo Credit: Z. Tomaszewski / WENN.com / rila.sakura.ne.jp)