The Wolverine casts four major roles

Japanese casting process takes drastic leap forward

The Wolverine has made significant steps forward by casting four of its major roles, with a quartet of Japanese actors signing on to join Hugh Jackman in James Mangold's forthcoming adventure.

Established actors Hiroyuki Sanada and Hal Yamanouchi will be joined by newcomers Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima, as Wolverine heads to Japan and finds himself embroiled in all sorts of Yakuza-centric trouble.

Sanada will play mob boss Lord Shingen, whose daughter Mariko (Okamoto) is due to be forced into marriage with a rival crime lord when she falls for Wolverine. Fukushima will play Yukio, one of Shingen's assassins, while Yamanouchi will play another member of the Yashida crime family.

Mark Bomback has recently been performing a bit of a rewrite on the script, with an amnesia-suffering Wolverine set to return to Japan in search of answers concerning his involvement with the criminal underworld there. Meanwhile, director Mangold has stressed that the film will be a character-driven piece, comparing it to a western in a similar vein to The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Filming is set to begin shortly in Japan, with additional studio work taking place in Sydney, ahead of an official UK release date of 26 July 2013. Looks like The Wolverine is slowly dragging itself out of development hell, one claw-hold at a time...

Are you excited for The Wolverine? Tell us, below!


    • ilikescifi

      Jul 10th 2012, 12:41

      the first one was crappy but i'd love to see another one. He has such a great character. im also happy for them to take more time, it was easily the worst cg of all the xmen films, it was so bad. yet ryan reynoods was much better in wolverine than green lantern

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    • ChrisWootton

      Jul 10th 2012, 13:05

      I think Hugh Jackman deserves a better Wolverine movie. I just hope that they finally get it right.. it's annoying they have to go down the amnesia route again, they didn't really give him anything worth remembering in all of the films so far.

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    • LukeSween

      Jul 10th 2012, 14:40

      I'd like to see a film with Hugh Jackman taking a bullet to the head, wakes up, thinking he is Wolverine but isn't. Just a normal chap. Would be more entertaining than Origins was.

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    • CaptainCrazy

      Jul 10th 2012, 15:15

      I'm not one for stunt casting, but couldn't they afford more well-known actors? How about Zach Galifianakis as the leader of The Wolfpack? I would pay to see that.

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    • mbembet

      Jul 11th 2012, 2:01

      finally they cast real Japanese actors to play Japanese characters most other film will cast either chinese or korean and it's really dumb

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    • EddieFelson

      Jul 11th 2012, 10:10

      Wolverine has amnesia, he is a beast trapped in a man’s body not understanding what is happening to him, that’s why the story works? The casting and writers seem to have sorted out (the s**t through the storm) and I for one would rather wait for an excellent story than have to wait for the s**t through the storm Wolverine 2!

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    • EddieFelson

      Jul 11th 2012, 10:11

      and another thing S"it through the storm

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    • timothytan

      Jul 12th 2012, 8:51

      This sounds good so far, hopefully they stick honest and true to the Claremont/Miller take and not transform the story into “the last samurai” or “avatar” where the “white man” learn the ways of the “oriental” c**p Hollywood has been feeding us, which in my opinion is very offensive to Asians and other minorities. I hope we will see the Wolverine we all know and love who in his own right I quote the Claremont/Miller comic “the most Japanese Westerner I have ever known.”

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    • dholleyuk

      Jul 12th 2012, 11:20

      Wolverine Meets Borne! Could spin nicely to the first X-Men remembering clues along the way, or have them as a seperate cannon to X-Men films

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    • Efial

      Jul 17th 2012, 16:49

      I like Hugh Jackman and I like his Wolverine. Now I´m happy to see that another of my favourite actors is joining the next movie: Hiroyuki Sanada. I first saw him i "The Last Samurai" with Tom Cruise. He is one of the best swordsmen (katana) in Japan. He is also trained in the old way of riding and shooting with a bow. Old Japanese traditions.

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