The Wolverine rips into theaters this weekend. Here are 15 behind-the-scenes bits of trivia about the production of the movie and the character.
1.) This is Hugh Jackman's sixth portrayal of Logan/Wolverine. He'll make his seventh appearance in X-Men: Days of Future Past next year.
2.) Jessica Biel was offered the role of Viper, but dropped out when a deal couldn't be reached.
3.) As a fan of the Japanese saga of the Wolverine comics, Guillermo del Toro expressed interest in directing this film but ultimately decided that he didn't want to spend two-to-three years of his life working on the film. Darren Aronofsky was also attached as director at one time as well, but dropped out due to a conflict with Fox.
4.) According to James Mangold, The Wolverine is essentially a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand, but with extended flashbacks.
5.) Jackman and Mangold talked about whether to make The Wolverine PG-13 or R rated. Mangold confirmed the rating in a tweet. A "bloodier, unrated" version will be available on home video later this year.
6.) This is the first Wolverine movie to be released in 3D and IMAX.
7.) The Last Samurai star Togo Igawa (he played General Hasegawa in the movie) was considered for the role of Shingen.
8.) Jackman undergoes intense physical training each time he plays Wolverine. In peak condition, he can bench press more than 300 pounds.
9.) "I meet people with full-color Wolverine tattoos on their backs. Thank God I did okay, because I think if I hadn't, they'd spit on me in the street."
10.) Tao Okamoto plays Wolverine's beloved Mariko in the film. The role is her first film role. She's also a model and a former face of Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, D&G, Armani and many other brands.
11.) Rila Fukushima plays Yukio in the film. She too is a Japanese model and has starred in music videos for Lenny Kravitz and Ben Taylor.
12.) Will Yun Lee is no stranger to the action genre. Fans may know him from the TNT supernatural drama Witchblade or the NBC sci-fi drama Bionic Woman. Other notable roles include the James Bond movie Die Another Day, Elektra and the Red Dawn and Total Recall reboots.
13.) Jackman wasn't originally cast as Wolverine. Dougray Scott had been slated to play the role, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Mission: Impossible 2. Scott's latest credits include Death Race 3: Inferno and My Week with Marilyn.
14.) Jackman's wife, Deborra-Lee Furness initially told him not to play Wolverine. She later said she was glad he had ignored her advice.
15.) Jackman watched Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry movies and Mel Gibson in Road Warrior to prepare to play the Wolverine. "Here were guys who had relatively little dialogue, like Wolverine had, but you knew and felt everything."
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