Hugh Jackman was pulling double duty at Comic-Con this year. He participated in the X-Men: Days of Future Past press conference, which brought together 16 of the stars of the highly anticipated sequel to X-Men: First Class. But, just before he was joined onstage by 15 of his X-Men friends, he was there with The Wolverine director James Mangold to talk about their second solo show for the breakout star of the X-Men movies.
Jackman believes that the resonance of all of the X-Man characters’ popularity lies in the fact that they could be you or me.
“I think what X-Men did was invent a way to make superheroes human: Complex, flawed, interesting. That’s why they’re played by so many interesting and different actors. That’s why so many great directors take them on -- because there’s an opportunity for something very human as well as something spectacular.”
As a young child, he identified with characters that were popular at the time, and believes he sees a congruency with Logan/Wolverine and the rest of his X-Men kin.
“When I was growing up, I loved Mad Max. I loved Dirty Harry. I couldn’t get enough of them. That’s who I thought was cool, that’s who I wished I was like,” Jackman said.
“I think Wolverine fulfills that, that kind of archetype. He’s a bit of an anti-hero. Deep down he’s a good guy, but he’s never a nice guy. He’s conflicted and he is, in a way, flawed, but at the same time, he’s just the last person you want to piss off.”
Mangold could not be prouder of the film shown off in The Wolverine trailer. He’s excited for audiences to finally see his vision July 26.
“What I’m really proud of on the film and that we worked very hard to do is that we deliver intense action to the fans with Wolverine, but also deliver drama, deliver character work, deliver an actual movie which, between the set pieces of action, there are actual scenes of characters dealing with the ramifications of actions and where they’re headed,” Mangold said.
“I think that was really a big goal for all of us when we got involved in this, both to just let the reins go and go further with intensity, and at the same time, carry an audience through scenes that are dramatic in nature and don’t need explosions.”
When the second teaser arrived, The Wolverine trailer extended, some out there felt that from what they knew about the movie, the clips were misleading. Jackman and Mangold could not disagree more. “I think that’s a good question about trailers in general,” Jackman said and laughed.
Mangold simply says that is the case with most movies that are boiled down to a small amount of time. He believes… just go see the movie. “I think that you may be more satisfied with what you experience in the film than when it’s now cut up to two minutes and ten seconds,” he added.
What is in the film, Hugh?
“What is in the film, and I don’t mind saying, is … imagine being 200 or 300 years old and living with the fact that everyone you’ve known or loved has passed, and in the case of Jean Grey, the love of his life, he killed her as she’d become the Dark Phoenix,” Jackman said.
“At the end of X-Men: The Last Stand, he kills her and then roll credits. So finally in this movie we get a chance to live with what haunts Wolverine. What is it like having that immortality, being who he is and knowing that his strengths bring destruction, pain and loneliness? He questions the burden that is his life, but I’m not going to say he chooses.”