“The wonderful opportunity for me with this film is that 90 percent of it takes place in Japan,” he said in an interview with MTV, “and even though other elements remain constant from the other pictures, namely Hugh Jackman, we kind of got our chance to reboot the tone and go a little darker and a little deeper than they’ve gone before with this character. That was exciting for me.”
Mangold also spoke at length about the Japanese influence on the film, which it seems there is a lot of.
“There is a significant amount of Japanese spoken in the movie, and the cast is almost entirely Japanese. So there is this wonderful sense of cross-pollination between a very Western character and a far Eastern culture, and I think it’s very cool and something we haven’t seen so far.” It also lets Mangold add a few elements from traditional Eastern films, like storytelling, levels of mystery, fighting, combat techniques and shooting style. “I think there is a lot of ways that Japanese film, Japanese fighting, Japanese martial arts have had an effect on this movie,” he said. “And certainly the movie is dripping with Japanese tradition both cinematically, fighting-wise and philosophically as well.”
One of Wolverine’s traits from the comic books that we haven’t seen so much in previous films is his ‘berserker rage,’ which Mangold confirms will make an ‘appearance’ in the new film.
“The whole point is not about violence or rating; it’s about intensity. I wanted to make a film that in a way captures the intensity of his character. One of the things that has always been a feature of Wolverine in the comics is that he has a berserker rage, that he has anger and some of his abilities are driven by something more primal.”
And getting Wolverine into that state requires just one thing: getting him mad.
“Honestly, to get really pissed off — not cute pissed off, not quippy pissed off, not funny pissed off or cigar-chomping pissed off, just pissed off — that can then help drive the fighting, drive the combat. That is interesting for me and then for the character, some of the jet fuel underneath some of the combat in the film.”
Opening in theaters on July 26, the film stars Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima and Brian Tee.