Ever since it was announced and all throughout production, it was assumed that The Wolverine would be a prequel that led into Bryan Singer's X-Men trilogy. Turns out we were wrong.
In an interview with Empire magazine, director James Mangold said that the film was not at all a prequel.
"Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all. Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there's a tremendous sense of isolation for him."
That been said, there will be prequel elements in the film as we already know some scenes take place in World War II, but after that it will presumably jump to present day. Empire also released a new pic (below) of Wolvie flexing his bone claws.
"That's something that for me was very important, that I land in a very specific place in his timeline. I wanted to be able to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it. The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me, that's such an interesting part of Logan's character that is nearly impossible to explore if you have a kind of league or team movie."
As far as categorizing the film, Mangold calls it a, "Japanese noir picture with tentpole action in it."
The Wolverine arrives in theaters on July 26, 2013.