For many, it was assumed that director James Mangold's upcoming The Wolverine would act as followup to 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Given that this new film is set in Japan, coupled with the after-credits sequence of Logan in Japan from the previous film, it was widely assumed that The Wolverine would be a direct sequel leading up to Bryan Singer's X-Men from 2000.
However, Mangold recently said this isn't the case. In fact, The Wolverine isn't a prequel at all. "Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all," the filmmaker told Empire. "Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there's a tremendous sense of isolation for him."
Having said that, there will still be some sequences set during World War II, but the rest of the film will take place post-X-Men: The Last Stand.
"That's something that for me was very important, that I land in a very specific place in his timeline," Mangold continued. "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."
While most X-Men films have been categorized as "comic book action adventure," Mangold said this latest entry is more of a "Japanese noir picture with tentpole action in it."
The Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman, and is scheduled for release on July 26, 2013.