Part of the challenge of making engrossing super hero films is that they are often close to invulnerable. Nothing can harm them. Mangold and Jackman seemed all too aware of this problem and said they had recognized and worked on it.
“You think [Logan] can get out of anything because he has healing ability, and unless you lop his head off, you know he's going to come back at you. In this movie, how do we put it?” Jackman paused, dancing around possible spoilers. “Let’s say they discover his kryptonite.”
Mangold agreed, but suggested fans shouldn’t take it so literally. “Yes, there’s a type of kryptonite metaphor. We’re addressing that,” Mangold said of the healing powers that make him almost invulnerable. “Meaning that there is a challenge he faces that poses a challenge to him and makes it harder for him. Some of the people that Logan’s up against may have found ways of getting to him that are different from what we’ve seen before.” But Mangold said there were other aspects of Wolverine’s healing powers, and one of them was dialing those powers back. “We’ve made a very concerted effort to try and make the film more real,” he said. “And also pull back a little on the kind of super-duper abilities of Logan. Like he doesn’t bring down any airplanes,” he said, referring to perhaps one of the more ridiculous elements of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
5. Unlike the previous "X-Men" movies and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," Jackman and Mangold claim they are going to ground the film in a gripping reality.
“We wanted the action in this film to feel physical and to feel possible for someone with his credible abilities,” he said, alluding to part of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" that weren't at all plausible. “I think that part of it is also bringing things down to earth in a way that is no less exciting, visually [or otherwise], but maybe a little less dependent only on giant CG. Hugh is one of the most talented physical actors alive. That he can jump into these fight sequences and the choreography that people are going to see is amazing. He’s doing it [the fighting], and there’s long takes and some badass stuff going on.”
Mangold also wisely recognized the futility of scaling up action to impossible levels that make for a lot of noise and clutter. “We don’t want to succumb to what's been going on for years now, which is almost like an arms race of action movies in which they just try and outdo the spectacle, and it keeps growing and growing until you reach the ceiling," he explained. "It’s like the music can only get so loud, and at some point you have to do something different. It just can’t be louder. Sure, this is a tentpole movie, there’s outrageous action, but also in the family and the world of the ‘Bourne’ films or the ‘Dark Knight’ films or in films where it’s not necessarily about blowing up planet earth, but much more earthbound... And the physicality of that action is something that people will find really gripping.”
6. The picture will act like a mystery, just as much as a character piece and action film.
Mangold used “labryinth” three times to describe the film, stressing that part of the energy of the picture comes from its sense of the unknown and the dubious nature of where allegiances lay. If most super hero movies are abundantly clear about who the hero and villains are and who it is they must save, in comparison "The Wolverine" is "much more of a mystery, a labyrinth," he said. "'Who can I trust? Where can I trust?' Logan enters the story trusting no one. I think that one of the things we’re trying to do in this in this picture is [present] an array of people [that Logan] will come in contact with, who are both good, bad, or question mark." As to who some of those people and antagonists are? Mangold listed out yakuza, samurai, ninjas, industrialists, politicians, other mutants, and women who come in various shades of "Can I trust them?" Comparing Logan to a fish out of water who enters Japan like Dorothy entering "The Wizard Of Oz," Mangold summed up the picture by saying, “Logan enters a labyrinth of mystery, adventure, violence, love and heartbreak.”
"The Woverine" lands in theaters July 26, 2013. [Image via Empire]