We analyse James Mangold's The Wolverine Vine teaser teaser trailer and outline key characters and possible links to The Avengers & what we can expect from The Wolverine

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

The WolverineThe Wolverine trailer is expected to be unleashed at 1pm today so I thought I would put some thoughts to paper on the bits we have seen so far, that I am sure could be extrapolated into understanding the the full trailer and what can be expected from The Wolverine.

James Mangold released teaser trailer onto Vine a couple of days ago it may only be 6 seconds long but it offers a wealth of information about The Wolverine. All our Wolverine updates can be found here: including the new The Wolverine Trailer.

The Wolverine International poster
The Wolverine International Poster (Click to enlarge)
Before that here is some context to frame The Wolverine that like me you may have missed or werent interested enough to follow. Last October Wolverine Director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman spoke with Marvel's Agent_M (Ryan Penagos) and let us know the following key points

Hugh Jackman - The Wolverine felt different and fresh from development through to shooting and he knows the fans are going to be surprised and dig it.
I'm guessing that Hugh Jackman is talking about his fans,the afternoon matinee screen idol fans rather than fans of the comic character The Wolverine as he pretty much said the same thing for X-Men Origins: Wolverine as he toured the world promoting the hell out of the worst comic book adaptation in years. In all honesty the team have got a lot of work to do to turnaround the damage caused by X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Or do they? X-Men Origins: Wolverine was reportedly made for £99 Million and had takings of around £250 Million 252% Return, placing it financially below Batman Forever (£53 vs £176 Million - 332% Return) but ahead of the far superior X-Men: First Class (£105.5 vs £233 Million - 221% Return). Don't hate me I'm just the messenger.

But things get interesting and promising from here out!

James Mangold - My goal is to try and bring the dramatic integrity you might find in a straight drama, the kind of realism of the acting and of the intentions and the conflict into a movie like The Wolverine where it doesn't feel tongue in cheek, where it feels committed and real.

James Mangold - The Wolverine takes place after the 3 X-Men films. It is a low point in Wolverine's life the X-Men are gone, Jean Grey is gone, every tie he had  to the world is broken or gone.

We wanted to create a film that we didn't have to  answer to the larger X-Men universe before or after.

Video: Live Chat with Hugh Jackman and James Mangold from The Wolverine Set


Hugh Jackman - From the first X-Men film I have always wanted to shoot this particular arc of the Logan story. It's from a very popular comic book arc - the Samurai story set in Japan. Logan comes into it very much the tragic hero that he is written as. At the beginning of The Wolverine everything that means anything to him is gone a lot of which he blames himself for.

The movie is called The Wolverine and what Jim (James Mangold) and I have discussed is that we want this movie to, better than ever before, capture the character of Wolverine. So forget all other interpretations and what has gone before and after and we want this movie to be the one - that we captured right. That means in every way - I had to go further - physically and mentally. You had to see him lower and more desperate than ever before and more at stake ...

James Mangold - ... and more rage the other thing I wanted to see for us that are fans of the comic I think that one of the major elements of The Wolverine is his rage, his anger. For me there was a lot of research and thinking into how to find that and to tap into that and set up the story.
How much rage can we expect? 
Previously ... Hugh Jackman confirmed on having discussions with director James Mangold about test screening a PG-13 rated cut and an R rated cut, but did not comment on filming sequences for them.
But looking at the images from Entertainment weekly I would be surprised if The Wolverine is geared towards an adult market or comic readers that read the original source material around a similar age to Hugh Jackman. The money is in the 10-17 demographic. Make of that what you will.  
As yet The Wolverine does not have a rating, but its trailer was passed with a 15 certification, as a reference Nolan's Batman trilogy trailers got a 12 as did the films.
Wolverine Comic Issue 1 Chris Claremont & Frank Miller
Wolverine Comic Issue 1 Chris Claremont & Frank Miller
The Wolverine Samurai comics that Jackman is referring to is the 1982 4 part mini series Wolverine written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Frank Miller. It was the first time Wolverine featured in his own comic title, this mini series ran for for editions and was followed by the ongoing run of Wolverine which picked up again in 1988. The Story opens with the line:
I'm Wolverine. I am the best there is at what I do. But what I do isn't very nice.
This line and mutations of it have since been used as the marketing tag line for almost every film or book that has a skilled assassin or thief that has a particular set of skills.

The Wolverine Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida
The Wolverine James Mangold portrait of Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida (Click to enlarge)
In the story, Wolverine returns to Japan to check in on Mariko Yashida an old and dear love that he met on a previous trip to Japan.  On arrival he finds that Marika's father Lord Shingen has resurfaced and reclaimed his title as the head of the Yashida Clan (and crime family), as part of a deal to ensure his return he has married Marika to a vicious gang leader Noburu-Hideki who is nasty piece of work and abuses Marika.

Wolverine immediately tries to put an end to this but between Marika being bound by honour and despite Lord Shingen's age he is a master martial artist who unfairly defeats Logan in combat at the Yashida Compound whilst Logan is still under the effects of a powerful sedative.

Broken in spirit by Marika's acquiescence and physically by Lord Shingen. Logan is at his lowest ebb and left unconscious on the rainy streets of Japan, like a dog, to be killed by assassins but he is rescued by Yukio a skilled warrior.

The Wolverine Rila Fukushima as Yukio
The Wolverine Rila Fukushima as Yukio (Click to enlarge)
Logan goes into free-fall under Yukio's influence and hidden agenda, which culminates in attacking a crime lord, involved with The Hand a ninja organisation, who has been targeting Yukio. Yukio and Logan penetrate a stronghold. As it turns out Marika and her husband are also there at the same time and are ambushed, causing Wolverine to fly into a berserker rage and decimate the gang. This viscous blood letting drives Marika further away but this and other events shake Logan out of his fall and set him on course for a climactic showdown.

You can read all 4 comics of Wolverine for free over at Marvel Comics here:

It's the most popular member of the X-Men's first major solo adventure, as legendary creators Chris Claremont and Frank Miller take Logan to Japan where he seeks to regain his lost honour and win the hand of his beloved Mariko!

Wolverine #1 (1982)
He's the best there is at what he does. But what he does isn't very nice. See Wolverine do lots of not-nice things, like fighting a bear in the Canadian Rockies! Sword-fighting with one of his greatest foes, Lord Shingen! And fighting for the honor of his lady love, Mariko Yashida, against...her husband?!?

Wolverine #2 (1982)
Wolverine's made a new ally in the death-defying, risk-taking Yukio! But isn't she the top assassin for Lord Shingen? Wolverine is determined to win back Mariko, even if an army of Hand assassins and sword-wielding mercenaries stand in his way! Plus: How will Mariko react when witnesses sees Wolverine's berserker rage for the first time?

Wolverine #3 (1982)
The action in Japan just keeps getting bigger! After getting into a bar fight with a drunken Sumo, Wolverine is recruited by the Japanese secret service to take down their underworld! Will Yukio remain loyal to Lord Shingen and kill Wolverine? Or will she side with her new love, even if he only has eyes for Mariko?

Wolverine #4 (1982)
Wolverine, in solo combat with Lord Shingen! Yukio, the captive of her former employer! Lord Shingen, armed with a sword and determined to prove to Mariko once and for all that Wolverine is not a fit mate for her! The Hand, surrounding the grounds and ready to fight to the death! Guest-starring the X-Men!

James Mangold - The Outlaw Josey Wales... Clint sets of on a journey built on loss and rage not just depression and disillusionment but a quest for revenge. That aspect of darkness is something I always felt integral to the Marvel legacy of The Wolverine character.

 ... we have made a concerted effort to make the film feel more real and pulled back a little on Logan's super duper abilities he doesn't bring down any aeroplanes its grounded I wanted the action to feel physical and feel credibly possible for someone with his abilities and part of it is to bring things down to earth a little, that are no less visual or exciting but less dependant on huge CG effects and more.. on real physicality.

Hugh Jackman - if you have ever liked the character of Logan or The Wolverine this is the film for you.

In the 23 minute video chat it seems that Jackman and Mangold address many of the concerns that I as well as many others seem to have and too be honest I had given up on The Wolverine but slowly I am being lured back by the energy of promise.

It is worth reading my brief synopsis of the Wolverine mini series 1-4 above as it pertains to the following breakdown:

Video: The Establishing Shot: THE WOLVERINE VINE TEASER TRAILER - JULY 2013 

The Wolverine teaser trailer analysis
The Wolverine scarred Logan in combat
00:00 - 00:00
Close up of a scarred Logan (right cheek) looking gruff as he does, the lighting and background would allude to this being the same scene where the first look of Wolverine image came from.

The Wolverine First Look Hugh Jackman
NEW The Wolverine First Look revealed Hugh Jackman (Click to enlarge)
The Wolverine fight yashida complex
The Wolverine fight at Yashida Complex

00:00 - 00:01
Leading straight into the next action where a topless Wolverine ( Hugh Jackman ) is fighting a man armed with a sword in what looks to be the Yashida Compound at night

The Wolverine There is no taming The Wolverine Hugh Jackman
The Wolverine There is no taming The Wolverine Hugh Jackman (Click to enlarge)
On the set of Wolverine
The Wolverine Long Dolly tracking shot on Yashida compound set (Click to enlarge)
The Yashida are a Yakuza family clan headed up by Lord Shingen Yashida ( Hiroyuki Sanada ) father of Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto) and her half brother Kenuichio Harada aka Silver Samurai ( Will Yun Lee ). There was always a power struggle within the family to take over as head of the clan.

The Wolverine logan funeral
The Wolverine Logan at funeral

00:00 - 00:01
Daytime a formally clothed (in black) Wolverine looks on in disbelief or confusion - this seems to take place at an  ceremony of sorts.  Logan's black formal wear would allude to this possibly being a funeral or mourning service.

In the Teaser trailer we see that this is a funeral for an elderly man.

The Wolverine Yukio & Logan arrive at Shingen Yashida's funeral
The Wolverine Yukio & Logan arrive at Shingen Yashida's funeral (Click to enlarge)
00:00 - 00:01

 The Wolverine fake shinto priest the hand ninja
The Wolverine fake shinto priest the hand ninja
An oriental priest possibly a Shinto pulls out a shotgun and ..

The Wolverine logan shot
The Wolverine Logan shot at Yashida funeral
00:00 - 00:01
... Logan takes the gun blast straight to his torso, looking at the other ceremony guests they aren't panicked yet so this must be a first strike.

The Wolverine Logan poisoned and captured by Viper
The Wolverine Logan poisoned and captured by Viper
00:01 - 00:02
A vested Logan is held by some sort of high powered hydraulic device, it looks as though there are spikes or needles around his wrist area possibly to try keep his claws from extending or to harvest materials from Wolverine or is there something more nefarious going on to do with weakening his abilities?

The Wolverine Viper Svetlana Khodchenko & a powerless Logan Hugh Jackman
The Wolverine Viper Svetlana Khodchenko & a powerless Logan Hugh Jackman (Click to enlarge)
Both Hugh Jackman and James Mangold allude to Logan being more human and grounded in their talk so this is more likely.

The Wolverine Svetlana Khodchenkova Viper
The Wolverine James Mangold portrait of Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper (Click to enlarge)
He faces Viper ( Svetlana Khodchenkova ) in a skin tight green outfit as in the comics. This is the role Jessica Biel turned down.

Viper or Madame Hydra is a professional terrorist with criminal connections across the Marvel Universe she is the head of Hydra the same organisation that worked with Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The Wolverine Hydra in Captain America: The First Avenger
The Wolverine Hydra in Captain America: The First Avenger

The Wolverine Hydra in Captain America: The First Avenger

HYDRA is the branch of the Nazi-German Army of World War II under the command of the Red Skull. It was an SS sub-division that created advanced weaponry for the army.

At one time Viper was also a member of Sebastian Shaw's Hellfire club as featured in X-Men: First Class.

"Viper is a superb athlete and adept in martial arts, marksmanship, and the use of a bullwhip. She is proficient in the use of toxins and poisons, often creating her very own poisons for whatever a given situation dictates. Viper herself is immune to most toxins and has always found interesting and different ways for spreading her toxins, such as hollow fangs or poisoned lipstick. She herself has built up an immunity to most forms of venom and toxins." - From

As well as being a skilled warrior, like The Mandarin, Viper has a super powered ring that allows her to teleport. Like Logan she also ages very slowly and is known to use trained doubles called Pit Vipers for safety and to distract enemies.

In the comics Viper is so bad ass that Red Skull ditches her when he finds out she is using their army to wage war without profit

The Wolverine Logan held powerless by Viper
00:01 - 00:02
Logan's claws are now extended and Viper is about to touch them or rather touch through them? Her rings of power are visible.

Is this a hint at a connection between Viper - Hydra and The Mandarin's Ten Rings of Power to be featured in Iron Man 3?

The Wolverine Fight Yashida's funeral Hugh Jackman
The Wolverine Logan has nothing left to fight for at Yashida's funeral Hugh Jackman (Click to enlarge)
The Wolverine Logan unleashes at a funeral
The Wolverine Logan unleashes at a funeral
00:02 - 00:02
Logan back at the ceremony and his claws have come out. Bystanders now seem spooked as chaos takes over.

The Wolverine Logan fights at funeral Hugh Jackman
The Wolverine Logan fights at funeral the claws are unleashed (Click to enlarge)
The Wolverine Rila Fukushima Yukio fights at Yashida funeral
The Wolverine Rila Fukushima Yukio fights at Yashida funeral (Click to enlarge)

The Wolverine Hugh Jackman's Logan ripped
00:02 - 00:02 
A topless ripped Logan, claws extended walking menacingly forwards wearing black trousers, the same outfit we saw in the Wolverine first look image. The background suggests this may be the Yashida Compound with a mix of hi tech equipment and traditional Japanese set design - and the same fight at the start of the teaser.

The Wolverine in WW2 pit fire
The Wolverine in WW2 pit fire
00:02 - 00:03
A short haired Logan either crawling or climbing up a wall could this be the pit that is seen in the image below, wherein he is wearing combat greens? If so presumably this is a flashback to Logan's previous visit to Japan during World War 2.

The Wolverine WW2 Logan bone claws in a pit
The Wolverine WW2 Logan wearing combat trousers with bone claws in a pit (Click to enlarge)
If so this could mean that he has met the elderly Lord Shingen Yashida previously, which would make sense as the man playing Shingen is Hiroyuki Sanada and way too young to be the elderly Shingen. More than likely other characters from Logan's past will  pop up on this visit to Japan.

The Wolverine Jean Grey dream
The Wolverine dreaming of Jean Grey
00:03 - 00:03
Logan and the physically deceased Jean Grey or The Phoenix ( Famke Janssen ) in an embrace. haunting flashback / fever dream or telekinesis psy-link warning/ call for help?

The Wolverine Logan Bullet Train Fight
The Wolverine Logan Bullet Train Fight
The Wolverine Logan Bullet Train Fight
The Wolverine Logan Bullet Train Fight
00:03 - 00:03
Logan screams in agony as a ninja or Yakuza slashes him with his Tantō blade. The appear to be hanging on to a fast train, probably the Shinkansen or bullet train. Again Logan is dressed in his dark suit, so this possibly this takes place just after events at the earlier ceremony.

The Wolverine funeral fight
The Wolverine Yakuza funeral fight
00:03 - 00:04
Logan fighting in his formal suit, so this is probably at the ceremony fighting possible ninja assassins (The Hand) disguised as Shinto priests probably after having being shot gunned at the ceremony.

The Wolverine Black suit Adamantium claws
The Wolverine Black suit Black tie Adamantium claws (Click to enlarge)

The Wolverine Silver Samurai
The Wolverine Enter the Silver Samurai
00:04 - 00:04
Our first look at Silver Samurai Keniuchio Harada ( Will Yun Lee ) in his battle outfit as half sister Mariko Yashida ( Tao Okamoto ) walks towards him in a advanced lair or complex.
Kenuichio Harada has trained all his life to be a master Samurai and has mutant powers that allow him to foucus his mental energy into the cut of his blade, allowing him to slice through almost anything.

Silver Samurai does not feature in the original 4 part Wolverine mini series. He has been both ally and foe to the X-Men, Wolverine and Daredevil on occasion. He has worked with criminal organisations like the Yakuza and more notably Hydra and The Hand. The Hand a Ninja sect feature prominently in Daredevil and are the main enemy in Elektra.

Working for Hydra he was Viper's (Madame Hydra) bodyguard and enforcer as well as her lover.

The Wolverine Samurai Fight
The Wolverine Samurai Fight
00:04 - 00:05
Back to the nighttime brawl at the Yashida Compound. It looks like Wolverine is fighting Kenuichio Harada ( Will Yun Lee ) in a Samurai outfit I'm not sure if it is the Silver Samurai outfit though.

The Wolverine Logan Bullet Train Shinkansen
The Wolverine Logan on the Bullet Train Shinkansen
00:05 - 00:05
We end with a shouting Logan flying towards the camera claws extended and in full berserker rage mode - as he hangs off the speeding bullet train. The Wolverine is coming.

All our Wolverine updates can be found here:

The Wolverine is expected to be released on 26 July 2013 in the UK
Wolverine faces his ultimate nemesis - and tests of his physical, emotional, and mortal limits - in a life-changing voyage to modern-day Japan.

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.

Director: James Mangold
Writers: Mark Bomback, Chris Claremont, Scott Frank, James Mangold, Christopher McQuarrie, Frank Miller
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto

For more info and updates on The Wolverine head to:
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The Establishing Shot
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