While I didn’t think that the first Hugh Jackman Wolverine movie was much of a masterful cinematic experience, I have to confess I was actually looking forward to where the story was going next. After all, the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine wrapped up with one of those “surprise endings” that saw ol’ Wolvie drinking in a bar in Japan, implying that a full scale adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun was on the horizon.
Hugh Jackman yucks it up at the Japan's premiere for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hope he didn't tell anyone, "I'll be back!"
Jackman himself confirmed as much when he told reporters around the time of Origin’s release that, "Japan is where we're heading, and we're starting to work on it now. We're in ... the first steps of developing that story." The source material for the sequel was said to be the classic 1982 Wolverine comic mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, which saw the curiously coiffed mutant in Japan knee deep in yakuza and ninja in search of his lost love Mariko.
A saga that is considered by fans to be one of the high watermarks in the character’s history, which helped to cement Wolverine's long association with Japan, Jackman said of it, "It's my favorite saga of the Wolverine stories. That's a movie I've longed to make from the beginning, so that's where we're heading."
Production art from the 1982 Wolverine mini-series by Frank Miller. We would claw someone to see this done right on film.
Now, it looks like The Wolverine will be headed to Australia instead…
Yesterday, Deadline.com reported that thanks to a 12.8 million dollar government payment, along with other cost-saving benefits, the production of The Wolverine will now happen in Sydney, Australia. As far as we know, the film, budgeted at about 80 million, will still be set in Japan, but the location change feels like a missed opportunity of sorts. After all, the film’s original director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan) left the project earlier this year saying that he didn’t want to be away from his family for the length of a shoot in Japan. And, worst of all, we won’t get to see Wolverine causing havoc in authentic Japanese locations ala The Bride in Kill Bill or even Lil Bow Wow in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift!
Oh well, as long as no kangaroos or koalas wander in front of the green screen or "authentic looking Japanese" sets, maybe it will still work when The Wolverine opens in 2013...
This is what came up when I looked for "kangaroo" on Google Images...