The Wolverine Will Be A Samurai Without A Master, The Movie's Timeline Explained

It came as a total shock last year when director James Mangold revealed that his latest film, The Wolverine, isn't actually a sequel to 2009's disastrous X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but instead picks up the timeline way further down the road past the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. While we originally figured that the movie was a direct sequel, featuring the character, played by Hugh Jackman, wandering around Japan with a brand-spanking new adamantium bullet in his brain, we now have very little to go on and actually have zero clue as to what's going to happen in the new adventure. But now the director is here to try and clear up a bit of the fog.

Speaking to EW, Mangold once again confirmed that The Wolverine will be set later in the timeline than any previously released X-Men film, but don't expect it to be a direct sequel to Brett Ratner's trilogy capper. "It’s set after X-Men 3, but I wouldn’t call it a sequel to X-Men 3," the director told the magazine. "You have a choice the second you enter a world like this with a huge amount of comic books, backstories, three movies, a Wolverine origins movie … You have decide where you’re going to exist in relation to all these other things, particularly if you’re working with an actor who actually played the character in other films."

But that, of course, leads to the question of "why?" Apparently the motivation for setting the story when its set was entirely taken from the comics by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. In tackling the character Mangold wanted to make sure that Wolverine was separated from the world and his mutant brethren, particularly the X-Men themselves. Said the filmmaker,

"I felt it was really important to find Logan at a moment where he was stripped clean of his duties to the X-Men, his other allegiances, and even stripped clean of his own sense of purpose. I was fascinated with the idea of portraying Logan as a ronin – the definition of which is a samurai without a master, without a purpose. Kind of a soldier who is cut loose. War is over. What does he do? What does he face? What does he believe anymore? Who are his friends? What is his reason for being here anymore? I think those questions are especially interesting when you’re dealing with a character who is essentially immortal."

The Wolverine will be heading to theaters July 26 and you can read more about the movie in our Blend Film Database.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.