The clothes make the man, but in the case of Wolverine, the claws make the mutant. Hugh Jackman’s forever ferocious antihero returns to the screen July 26 with his second solo adventure, and die-hard fans will notice right away that his gleaming metal talons have gotten a makeover.
“Yes, we retooled them a little,” director James Mangold said during an interview at his offices on the Fox lot. “I found that in some of the comics illustrations that I really liked the most, they had these bevel cuts. They were faceted, that would be the best way to describe them. In the last picture, they were pretty smooth, and we decided to take it to a different direction.”
Mangold, the director of 3:10 to Yuma, Copland, and Walk the Line, was eager to bring a less theatrical appearance to the character who also goes by the name Logan. “I wanted a more real Logan,” Mangold said, “not a flashier Logan.” As part of his push, Mangold re-evaluated the arc and shape of the character’s signature weapons and went with a shape that looks more crafted for carnage.
“It’s more utilitarian,” the director said. “The cuts in the blades make them more useful, more lethal, and they also catch the light more and in interesting ways.”
The claws in the new film are the closest to the tooled look that comic book artist Frank Miller memorably used in the first solo Wolverine comic book ever published, Wolverine issue No. 1, back in September 1982. The coveted issue was the first installment of a four-issue limited series written by Chris Claremont, and it opened with Wolverine hunting a rogue bear in a frigid Canadian Rockies but soon shifts to Japan, where the loner X-Man seeks Mariko Yoshida, the woman he loves.
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