X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as is pretty obvious from the clumsy title, was a prequel to the first trilogy of X-Men films that was apparently intended to be the first of many. Showing us how Hugh Jackman's Logan went from being a soldier of fortune to a grieving superpowers mutant, the first standalone Wolverine movie had a lot of backstory and not a whole lot of interest, the kind of hit that absolutely nobody wants to replicate. So with the upcoming The Wolverine, with a new director and new story to go with it, fans are hoping for a change-- and now we've learned just how big a change we can expect.
Director James Mangold, talking to Empire, has revealed that the events of The Wolverine will take place after all of the other X-Men films, meeting Logan after the group of mutants has disbanded. Here's how Mangold explains it:
"Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all. Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there’s a tremendous sense of isolation for him."
But don't expect The Wolverine to be a sequel based on anything we saw in X-Men: The Last Stand, Brett Ratner's much-unloved threequel. Mangold also says he's not worrying about continuity from any of the previous films in this one:
"I wanted to be able to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it. The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me that’s such an interesting part of Logan’s character that is nearly impossible to explore if you have a kind of league or team movie."
If you want to know more about The Wolverine, you can ask Mangold or Hugh Jackman yourself-- the two of them will be participating in a live chat from the Australia set next Monday. You can find out more details about that here. And for the full Wolverine movie experience, you don't have to wait much longer-- the movie is set for release July 26 next year.