Arthur & Merlin
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THE WOLVERINE: Director James Mangold discusses Wolverine’s personality and how he finds himself in Japan
January 14, 2013 By Holly Eyre
During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly Director James Mangold discusses why Wolverine travels to Japan and how Wolverine will feel and be presented in the film. Read the interview below:
EW: what is in the film that brings Logan to Japan?
“An old friendship. What brings him there is an old ally in Japan. We find Logan in a moment of tremendous disillusionment. We find him estranged. One of the models I used working on the film was The Outlaw Josey Wales. You find Logan and his love is gone, his mentors are gone, many of his friends are gone, his own sense of purpose – what am I doing, why do I bother – and his exhaustion is high. He has lived a long time, and he’s tired. He’s tired of the pain.” – James Mangold
EW: Sounds like you’re leaning hard on the despair of this character:
“What I wrote on the back of the script when I first read it was “Everyone I love will die.” The story I’ve been telling, he enters it believing that. Therefore he’s living in a kind of isolation. He gets drawn to Japan by an old friendship and then finds himself in a labyrinth of deceit, caught up in the agendas of mobsters, of wealth, and other powers we come to understand.” – James Mangold
EW: Is there anything about the earlier Wolverine films that you want to avoid?
“What I felt like I hadn’t seen as a comic book fan, was I felt I hadn’t seen Logan and his rage. That sense of darkness. Without getting into the  Wolverine movie, which is an origin story, with the X-Men movies he’s part of a team, so he gets little scenelets, but they’re essentially team movies. The liberty I have making a film like this is I can find him. I’m not cutting away to catch you up on any of the Thunderbird team members. It’s his emotional experience, his trajectory, his sense of loss, and his own ambivalence about his powers and talents”. – James Mangold
EW: You mentioned The Outlaw Josey Wales – one of my favorites – but I was also thinking of First Blood when you describe him alone, looking for a lost friend. The original Rambo was also a warrior who is lost, without a country.
“You could say that. That sense of simplicity of story. There is a labyrinth of intrigue he enters, but the story is very simple, which is protecting those he loves from the kind of doom that seems to surround him. That’s a lot of what I’m really interested in.” – James Mangold
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