‘The Wolverine’ to Start Production on July 31st

Production begins on The Wolverine in Sydney on July 31st — that is, on a Tuesday in two weeks — with Hugh Jackman starring in the title role.

Logan/Wolverine travels to Japan to train with a Samurai warrior in this new episode, the sixth outing for Jackman as this character, although he only had a cameo in X-Men: First Class.

Director James Mangold and his cast and crew are working out of Fox Studio Australia and will travel all around Sydney, including Kurnell, to get the settings they require. A few weeks of filming will also occur in Japan.

Media outlets around the world have run with the news that Jessica Biel and Will Yun Lee have both been cast as villains in the upcoming film – Biel as Viper and Lee as The Silver Samurai – and that Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima and Brian Tee are also in the cast. While this may be true, IF Magazine was told today that no cast contracts have been signed.

It was confirmed, however, that the cinematographer is Amir Mokri, who moved to the US from Iran when he was in his early 20s and has most recently worked with Zack Snyder on Man of Steel and Michael Bay on Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

The producers are Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker, Scott Franklin, Jackman and John Palermo, Jackman’s business partner at the now defunct Seed Productions. US line producer Joseph Caracciolo is on executive producer duties and Anne Bruning is unit production manager.

IF Magazine has it on good authority that Francois Audouy is the production designer, Ellen Mirojnick is costume designer, Nick Copping is production co-ordinator, and Jen Lamphee is make-up and hair supervisor, but confirmation was not forthcoming.

Hugh Jackman has only been back in Sydney for a few days, and photos of him walking through the airport and swimming at Bondi Beach have already been published. If Biel is in the film, expect some media tracking of Justin Timberlake too, as the pair are engaged to be married.

Most recently Jackman played Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation of Les Misérables.

The Wolverine is a direct sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was directed by Gavin Hood. Darren Aronofsky was originally attached to direct the follow-up but was replaced by Mangold, who is best known for Walk The Line, the biopic about country and western legend Johnny Cash.

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