<i>Wolverine</i> Script Gets Thumbs Up From X-Men Writer Chris Claremont

Influential X-Men writer Chris Claremont has given his seal of approval to the screenplay for The Wolverine, which uses as its foundation the miniseries he created in 1982 with Frank Miller.

“[I like it] very much,” Claremont says in a profile at Graphic NYC. “That’s all I can say. Chris McQuarrie is brilliant.”

Like that well-regarded Marvel comic, the follow-up to X-Men Origins: Wolverine brings Logan to Japan to fight for the heart of his ex-lover Mariko, who's been forced by her crime lord father into an arranged marriage. Wolverine, therefore, must battle ninjas and the politics of Tokyo's underworld in an attempt to win the freedom of the love of his life. (The story also forms the basis of the Madhouse-produced anime debuting July 29 on G4TV.)

In the profile, Claremont, who during his 17-year run on Uncanny X-Men co-created such characters as Emma Frost, Mystique and Kitty Pride, recalls collaborating with Miller on the Wolverine four-issue miniseries.

"The pitch meeting was the drive from San Diego to Los Angeles, and getting stuck in a huge tailback because Customs was looking for illegal immigrants, even back then," he says. "He was trapped, and I was driving, and I was just telling him the story — what I wanted to do and how I wanted to tell it, and who Wolverine was. I didn’t want to do what we did in the X-Men, because we do that every month and I wanted to go somewhere different with it. When it came to structuring out the story, the first issue I did for him was 22 pages of script, single-spaced, for a 22-page story. The fourth and last issue was something like a 20-minute phone call and a page of notes."

Star Hugh Jackman, naturally, returns to the title role in Fox's The Wolverine, while 3:10 to Yuma director James Mangold was announced last week to replace Darren Aronofsky.

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