The New South Wales government announced that The Wolverine, the next spinoff film in the X-Men series, is slated to begin filming this August in Sydney. Hugh Jackman, a Sydney native, will reprise his role as Wolverine, the ferocious, nigh-invulnerable mutant and by far the most popular member of the X-Men clan.
The project, which will eventually move to Japan to complete filming, has long been in the making. Despite the abysmal quality of X:Men Origins: Wolverine, the film proved highly profitable ($373m worldwide box office), guaranteeing a sequel. Fans were electrified when it appeared that Reqiuem for a Dream auteur Darren Aronofsky would be bringing his gritty, boundary-pushing style to the next installment. He ultimately left the project, with workmanlike director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line) taking his place, leaving Aronofsky fans to eternally wonder what Wolverine might look like on heroin.
The script was written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie) and is said to be a take on the Chris Clairemont/Frank Miller comic series from the 1980s, in which Wolverine trains as a samurai warrior and fights off ninjas in Japan.
The Wolverine, in all its claw-slashing, teeth-gnashing glory, is scheduled to hit screens July 23, 2013.