Rila Fukushima

The Wolverine

With the exception of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, no single superhero has seen more screen time than Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Since he was spotted on the set of Bryan Singer’s genre-propelling 2000 release X-Men wearing yellow spandex (a costume that would later be changed due to internet outrage), Wolverine has been Jackman’s role to own. From that first X-Men movie to the third, in which he was forced to end the life of his love Jean Grey, Wolverine has always been a central character to modern X-Men cinema. But unlike the armored billionaire Tony Stark, whose worst outings have been no worse than average (ahem, Iron Man 2), Wolverine has had some real stumbles — namely 2009′s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was the kind of critical and fan-disappointing quality control disaster that would kill a lesser franchise. But like its central character, this is a franchise that heals well (and makes money despite itself), so Fox was willing to give it another shot. Luckily for fans, The Wolverine delivers where the previous outing failed, giving us what could very well be the defining cinematic appearance of Hugh Jackman as Logan.

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UPDATED: ComingSoon throws a real wrench in (some of) our awesome speculation with news that Will Yun Lee has joined The Wolverine as Kenuichio Harada, otherwise known as the Silver Samurai. Read on, though, as we can still have a lot of fun with our initial thoughts. Casting appears to be underway for James Mangold’s upcoming entry into the X-Men franchise, the Japan-set solo story of the world’s scruffiest mutant, The Wolverine. Of course, we already know that Hugh Jackman is on board to once again star as the title character – that’s pretty much the only thing that’s been set in stone about this project since development began an eternity ago – but now ComingSoon has some scoops on the names that will be making up the gaijin’s supporting cast, and if you know anything about Wolverine’s Japanese past, these are some big roles. Ralph Lauren model Tao Okamoto is set to play Mariko Yashida, a young Japanese girl who Wolverine falls in love with and becomes engaged to, while relative newcomer Rila Fukushima is on board to play Yukio, a sort of ninja-trained thief who often works as the clawed Canadian’s ally. The next bit of news is a little bit confusing. Listed as being cast are two more characters, one named “Shingen” and one named “Yashida.” In the Wolverine comics, the young bride Mariko has a father who is named Shingen Yashida – the head of a once great clan who disgraced their name by turning them into […]

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