Who better to ask about The Wolverine than the man behind the comic book with Chris Claremont.
While Fox Studios never ended up giving Claremont a credit for the movie though he wrote the comic book the movie is based on and helped out with a draft of the script (stay classy Fox), the writer didn't hold that against them as he offered his thoughts on The Wolverine.
Below you can check out some of the more interesting things that Claremont had to say from an interview with Vulture.
The first two acts were kick-ass, and they set this up to be a really exceptional, different movie. It was like the film took this giant step forward. I liked that it focuses on the essence of who Wolverine is and what he does. Hugh Jackman is eloquent, and he owns the character at this point. It’s a surprisingly multidimensional performance. The third act wasn’t bad, per se, but it was a different tone. That moment he starts motorcycling up the 400 kilometers … he was almost riding into a different movie. It would be interesting to talk to Mangold and ask why they felt they had to go in that direction.
Original script was different; Claremont was on board helping out, but when Darren Aronofsky bailed the script changed.
Christopher McQuarrie’s draft was different in certain elements from the story that Frank and I did, but it was essentially that story. When it evolved through the production process, the hope I had, especially since Darren’s office was based in Brooklyn at the time, that I could help. The fact that they asked me in to read the first draft and do meetings down the road was a step in the right direction. But then Black Swan won Oscars, made a huge amount of money, and he decided to take some time off and work on other projects. I think once everything shifted out to the West Cast, that was that. It would have been fun to see, but that’s another dimension, so c’est la vie.
On X-Men: The Last Stand:
I wish the “Dark Phoenix” saga had been done more effectively than it was, but that was out of my hands. That, unfortunately, was a clusterfuck from the get-go.
On Mariko and The Viper:
The end sort of turned into stuff we’ve all seen before. It just started throwing superhero tropes against the wall: the Yakuza against Wolverine, the Viper imprisoning Wolverine, the Silver Samurai cutting off Wolverine’s claws. The point is not how many artful ways can he cut someone to shish kebab. There was no moment of emotional punch to match, say, Tony Stark watching what he thinks is Pepper Potts’s death in the third Iron Man. That’s a moment. There should have been one in this, but everybody was on the sidelines. There should have been more direct involvement with Mariko. The problem with that superhero silliness, I’m sitting there thinking, What’s Viper there for? And what exactly does her venom do? People go all bubbly and collapse? I wanted a moment of choice for the characters in that scene in the castle. That sort of got lost in all the running and jumping and hitting.
On Shingen and Wolverine, and the new script added Silver Samurai and The Viper:
In the comic, the Silver Samurai is the bastard son of Mariko’s father. And her father, Shingen, was the actual villain, the master of the clan. And in the movie, the Shingen character is basically separated into two people — now there’s a father and a grandfather. The original story spun on the father-daughter relationship. In the film, having the grandfather be the ruler renders the father irrelevant. In the beginning of the comic, Shingen challenges Logan to a kendoduel, to demonstrate to Logan that he’s not as hot as he thinks he is, and to Mariko that Logan is not worthy of her. Wolverine says, “Okay, bub,” and — over three brilliant Frank Miller pages of the two of them going at it — the old man beats the shit out of him. That kendo match is the seminal moment of the story, because it reveals Wolverine as vulnerable, even with his claws and his healing power. It sets up the final fight, in which Wolverine kills Shingen, the father of the woman he loves, and Mariko does something unexpected, which is that she forgives him. She loves him anyway.
Wolverine should have been able to speak Japanese:
In this movie, I kept waiting for Logan to start spouting perfect Japanese. He’s been to Japan before, and he’s a warrior. The first thing you do is learn the landscape and the language. In the comic, he spoke Japanese like a native — it had nothing to do with him being brilliant, but with him blending in. It also would have taken him another step away from the traditional superhero.