Fox's The Wolverine, which was thought to be heading to British Columbia, instead will be filmed largely in Sydney, Australia, hometown of star Hugh Jackman, The Daily Telegraph reports. Much of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was shot at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney in 2008.
"It is a testament to our screen industry that Hugh Jackman and his team have chosen to come back to Australia after such a positive experience making the X-Men Origins," said New South Wales Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, who helped to secure the deal with Fox. The production, scheduled to begin in August, is expected to generate more than 2,000 jobs for the area, including opportunities for 720 extras.
Directed by James Mangold, the film is based in part on the 1982 Wolverine miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, and has Logan battling ninjas, Silver Samurai and the politics of the Tokyo criminal underworld for the heart of his ex-lover, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord. The screenplay was penned by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), with rewrites by Mark Bomback (Total Recall).
The Wolverine was delivered twin setbacks in March 2011 with the devastating earthquake in Japan, where much of the story takes place, and the surprise departure of Darren Aronofsky, who was unwilling to be out of the United States, away from his family, for the duration of the production. While Jackman and the studio were committed to finding a new director and moving forward with the project — Mangold was hired in June — questions remained as to whether, in the wake of the disaster, a big-budget action movie could still be shot in Japan. Production was further delayed by Jackman's commitment to Les Misérables, which began filming last month.
The Wolverine opens July 26, 2013.