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

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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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