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Since word on The Wolverine first arose, fans have been wondering when the movie that centers on a centuries old mutant who is seemingly immortal would be set. We knew once-attached helmer Darren Aronofsky was shying away from the word sequel, and that part of the film would be set in in Japan. But even the surprise appearance of Jean Grey wasn't able to cement the new film’s setting. Thankfully, Jean Grey herself—well, Famke Janssen—was kind enough to set the stage for The Wolverine.
During a press conference in New York City that included Hugh Jackman, director James Mangold, and several key members of the cast, Janssen was quick to share—remarkably without major spoilers—how one film leads into the next. Minor spoiler for The Wolverine: Jean is still dead. But she appears to Logan in his dreams. Or as Janssen explains:
"Of course, X-Men: The Last Stand ended on a very high emotional note, but the audience didn't have the time to really process what happened, which was the Wolverine kills the Phoenix or Jean Grey. And that's of course something that people were left with. And the fact that both Jim and Hugh took on this part—even though (Jean’s is) a very small through line in the film, it is such an important part of the series in what happens with the journey that Logan goes through after that. I mean, the guilt he has to live with, the reconciliation, he has to deal with his past, and the fact that somehow this Jean Grey character then comes in, either in trying to guide him or challenge him, find a way to help him find a way through his past.”
Janssen went on to say she was incredibly impressed at how Jackman and Mangold worked together to this emotional thread of Logan’s that was set up in the first three X-Men films. She went on to detail what a different experience making this film was from her prior Marvel movies. As her scenes in the film are only with Jackman, and essentially in the same dreamy setting, she didn’t have an insight into how everything else was coming together. It made seeing the final film a very different experience from seeing the first three. She said:
“Having been part of the four [X-Men films], I've never been able to really watch these films without any kind of preconceived notions because I have been part of them. But this one because I filmed what—less than a week—I really didn't know what was going on when I wasn't there. So, I saw it as a true audience member!”
Janssen was also quick to share her thoughts about this film’s unique appeal:
“And I think what is so absolutely remarkable about it is that I think women are going to respond to this film more than any of the other X-Men films or Wolverine films so far because it has a love story, it has real emotional depth, it has this journey of the Wolverine character. And that's really this team, these two guys here (Mangold and Jackman), and of course an incredible cast, and the women who are—all of you—are amazing. So it was really nice being an audience member!"
The Wolverine opens Friday.