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Director James Mangold: The Wolverine Is Not a Prequel, Takes Place After X3

That rumor about a Jean Grey cameo (un-hidden spoilers at the link, under the jump, and in the comments, FYI) in The Wolverine just got a heck of a lot more interesting. In an interview with Empire, director James Mangold revealed that his film is not, as everyone assumed, a prequel to the X-Men trilogy, but rather a sequel to all previous X-Men films.

Says Mangold, “Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there’s a tremendous sense of isolation for him.”

I really like this news, though it does make me wonder how they’ll handle the awful craziness that was X3, which I think just about everyone—including, I assume, 20th Century Fox itself—wants to pretend didn’t happen. Will the possible return of Xavier, hinted at during the X3 post-credits scene, be addressed? The majority of the Wolverine lineup is characters we’ve not seen before, but will any of Wolverine’s former comrades-in-arms at least be referenced? How will The Wolverine tie into First-Class sequel Days of Future Past? Does the Jean Grey cameo, if it’s really happening, mean that she’ll be resurrected for future films?

It’s entirely possible, even likely, that the answer to that last question is “no,” as Mangold noted in the interview that The Wolverine will have flashbacks, which is presumably where Jean will show up. One of those flashbacks is surely where this newly-released image of a pre-adamantium Wolverine, complete with bone claws, comes from; other flashbacks will take place during World War II.

Also of note: Mangold describes The Wolverine as a “Japanese noir picture with tentpole action in it,” and I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty awesome. I’m much more hopeful about this film than when I thought it was just an X-Men Origins: Wolverine sequel.

How ’bout you guys?

(via: Superhero Hype; image via /Film)

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  • Jeff

    The X-Men movie franchise is a mess.

  • gia manry

    It is! First Class was good but I’m not so sure about its “prequel-sequel,” and to know that they’re still continuing the main movie storyline is also odd.

  • Anonymous

    It was going so well after X2, it really felt like all the pieces were there to have a truly epic franchise, and then there was that big Singer-Rothman fight and the franchise never recovered.

  • Anonymous

    P.S.: Rebecca, you hid the Jean Grey cameo in one place and didn’t later in your post. D’oh!

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Whoops! Thanks, fixed.

  • Anonymous

    The cameo is probably going to be a flashback or fantasy sequence so I don’t think they’ll need address what happened too much. Ditto for Days of the Future Past, unless the bad future they’re trying to prevent is X-Men 3. :P

  • TDF Pamela

    Am I the only one who desperately wishes Marvel Studios could somehow buy back the X-Men rights and start over? The Singer films were great, but everything since (with the exception of First Class, which still had some problems) has been awful. :(

  • LizbethAnne

    No lie, that’s the theory I’m sticking with–instead of preventing some apocalyptic future that’s caused by Senator Kelly’s assassination (especially since he’s dead as of the first film), the terrible future is caused by the deaths of the Professor, Scott, and Jean (and all the events of X3). They travel back to stop it.

    It’s unlikely, but it makes me very happy that one day X3 might not be canon.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    She also wrote “un-hidden spoilers at the link, under the jump, and in the comments.”

  • Anonymous

    Me too!
    But one rumor I’ve heard is that Days of Future Past will start with Magneto controlling the bullet that kills Kennedy, so it seems like that maybe the assassination they will be trying to prevent.
    But damn I SOOOO want x-3 to get retconned.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    That would be hilariously wonderful, if the plot of Days of Future Past revolved around trying to erase X3 from history. Don’t think it’ll actually happen, but it would be awesome.

  • Anonymous

    No, you’re not. It’s just that it seems so impossible that no one dares mentionning it.
    My only hope is that the exit of Tom Rothman changes the studio’s mentality with superhero movies. The crazy thing is, with all the talk about the Justice League and the Avengers, the X-Men are a super team on their own right and you can do something very epic with the property. A Dark Phoenix storyline directed by Bryan Singer could have done very close to Avengers business (taking into account the lack of 3d at that time).

  • Jerilyn Nighy

    Rothman wouldn’t even let Wolvie smoke a stogie, despite it not being harmful to him.

  • Terence Ng

    I dunno. Given how they’ve recently EFFED up their own comic incarnations with AvX, I don’t think I’d trust them with the X-Men…

  • TDF Pamela

    Well, Marvel Studios don’t produce the comics, so while they could very well screw up the X-Men, we don’t have to worry about the guys who screwed up AvX getting their hands on the movie franchises.