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Hugh Jackman on 'The Wolverine' sequel, Neill Blomkamp's 'Chappie,' musicals he's eyeing

Just as The Wolverine claws its way toward DVD/Blu-ray on Dec. 3 (with a Digital HD release on Nov. 19), talk is heating up about a possible sequel. For his part, star Hugh Jackman has neither confirmed nor denied whether he’ll sign on to play muttonchopped mutant Logan for an eighth time… but the odds are looking good. “I was on the phone with Jim Mangold last night,” Jackman told EW. “There are some really cool ideas that I’m dying to tell you, but that would be giving away a secret that is not even [fully] formed yet.”

Jackman insists that his lapsing contract with Fox, which reportedly will need to be renegotiated after X-Men: Days of Future Past premieres in May, doesn’t mean he’s leaving the franchise in limbo. “I started with a two-picture deal on the first two [X-Men films], and from that point on, it’s been movie by movie — not just me, but Fox and Jim and everyone,” he says. “I do want to do it with Jim and with [producer] Lauren Shuler-Donner because we had such a great experience. I’m really proud of The Wolverine.”

The star believes he’s mentally more committed to the character than he’s ever been. “I kind of am enjoying him more than ever… Being older helps playing Wolverine. He’s 200 or 300 years old — no one really knows — and he’s sort of world-weary. The actual working out gets harder and harder, I’ll admit.”

Still, Jackman insists the creative circumstances would have to be right for him to resume his grueling diet-and-exercise regimen in order to don the white tank top again: “I don’t want to dive into another one until we have a compelling reason to do another one,” says Jackman. “I love the character, he’s kind of like a best friend to me, and I don’t ever want to take [him] or the fans for granted. … I think we’ve got a great opportunity to make something really cool, but it has to be great. That’s what we’re all working toward.”

'The Wolverine' director James Mangold in talks for sequel

Twentieth Century Fox is moving ahead with another Wolverine standalone movie. The Wolverine director James Mangold is in talks with the studio to write a treatment and longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner will collaborate again, as Deadline reported. The storyline is being kept under wraps for now, and Hugh Jackman is waiting to see a script before he commits to another go as the shredded mutant.

Jackman’s Wolverine will play a major role in next May’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, bridging the original X-Men franchise with the younger First Class crew. But that movie also completes his contract to play Wolverine, a role he’s been associated with for more than a decade. He’s not currently obligated to another Wolverine movie and would likely negotiate a healthy raise for a new adventure.

The Wolverine was a modest blockbuster in the U.S. this summer, but it earned more than twice as much abroad and grossed more than $413 million altogether.

'The Wolverine' makeover: New claws, no costume, and a less-nutty haircut

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.

Reese Witherspoon will star in James Mangold's 'Three Little Words'

Reese Witherspoon is reteaming with James Mangold, who directed her to a Best Actress Oscar with 2005’s Walk the Line. The actress will star in Mangold’s Three Little Words, an adaptation of Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s memoir which has been in the works since 2009.


James Mangold tweets 10 films that influenced 'The Wolverine'


Director James Mangold took to Twitter over the weekend to play a little game with his followers. “I’m posting images from films that inspired/influenced THE WOLVERINE,” he tweeted. “Name the movies. Even better, go see them.” The director then posted ten images from an intriguing assortment of films. Go check out his Twitter feed and see how many you can name. (8-10, you’re a film stud; 5-7, you should probably consider restarting your Netflix DVD subscription; less than 5, you should stop watching so much TV.) READ FULL STORY

'The Wolverine': Logan surveys Japan in new motion poster

Motion posters: They’re not just for Bob Marley anymore.

Right on the heels of that new Man of Steel trailer comes a new animated poster for 20th Century Fox’s own tentpole superhero movie. The image pictures Logan — a.k.a. The Wolverine himself — crouching on an elaborately designed roof, high above the dizzying lights and colors of modern-day Tokyo. For added drama, he’s clutching a sword — and being pelted by a torrential downpour. Naturally, he didn’t think to wear a shirt in the storm. Here’s the poster:


'The Wolverine': Hugh Jackman and James Mangold tease plot, reveal poster -- VIDEO

You don’t want to make the Wolverine angry — especially in his newest movie.

That was the main takeaway from today’s live Q&A with The Wolverine star Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold (Walk the Line3:10 to Yuma), which EW exclusively announced last week. Over and over, the two made a point of noting that their film would explore the aspects of Wolvie’s famed berserker rage. “His ultimate weapon is his rage,” said Jackman. “If you look at all the mutants, there are other mutants with stronger powers — on paper. But who’s the person you least want to annoy? Wolverine.”

The actor and filmmaker had a few other surprising revelations about their film, due to open July 26, 2013. Check out their top five below, along with the film’s new teaser poster that evokes the film’s Japanese setting, below: READ FULL STORY

'The Wolverine': Chat live with Hugh Jackman and James Mangold from the set -- EXCLUSIVE


Fellow film geeks, do you have some questions about next year’s Wolverine sequel? Are you wondering how closely the movie will adhere to the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Wolvie-meets-Ninjas miniseries? Or do you just want to inquire about Hugh Jackman’s fitness regimen? Then you’re in luck: EW is excited to announce that star Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold will be hosting a live chat from the set of The Wolverine next Monday, October 29th, at 4:00 pm ET (1:00 PM PT) — accessible on the movie’s YouTube channel and official website. But don’t take our word for it — learn all about it straight from the Wolverine’s mouth in this video: READ FULL STORY

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