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While a Japan-set story and James Mangold directing are both interesting, the thing that made me truly interested in The Wolverine - the sequel to 2009's disastrous X-Men Origins: Wolverine - was the fact that Christopher McQuarrie was writing the script. An Oscar winner for his work on The Usual Suspects, McQuarrie works closely with Bryan Singer, who you may remember as the guy who brought us X-Men and X2. Sadly, it looks like 20th Century Fox has found a great way to screw that up.
Mark Bomback, whose previous scripts include Live Free or Die Hard, Race to Witch Mountain, and last year's Unstoppable, has been hired by the studio to rewrite The Wolverine, according to Variety. Bomback has actually been quite busy as of late, as he wrote the script for Len Wiseman's upcoming remake of Total Recall as well as Bryan Singer's Jack The Giant Killer, which also has McQuarrie as a credited screenwriter. Recent reports have said that the film may not go into production until spring 2012, and may not be able to film in Japan as previously planned. One might wonder if the rewrites have anything to do with forced location changes.
The trade also seems to have gotten a little more info about the film's plot, which will find Wolverine suffering from total memory loss and finding himself in the Japanese underworld. With the exception of Hugh Jackman, who is set to return as the titular protagonist, and another character named Viper ("the Caucasian secretary for Japan's Minister of Justice" whose role has been expanded), Variety says the rest of the cast will consist only of Japanese and Japanese-American actors.
The article doesn't specify, but let's hope that this is more of a touch-up than a "throw the original in the trash" rewrite. Only time will tell if this is the right move.