All too often, Hollywood gets the casting of Asian roles all mixed up. Case in point, having Chinese actors play Japanese characters in “Memoirs Of A Geisha”. While things haven’t really changed much since then, the makers of “The Wolverine” are at least putting in more effort.
Today, Superherohype scooped the news that a whole bunch of roles have been cast for the sequel to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. And since the movie is set largely in Japan, a lot of the characters are Japanese. The biggest deal being Wolvie’s arch nemesis Keniuchio Harada, aka The Silver Samurai. He is to be played by… a Korean dude. Well, at least he looks the part. Will Yun Lee, who’s been in a Marvel movie before (“Elektra”) will be playing the mutant Samurai, who has the power to focus energy fields into his sword, making it unbreakable and able to cut through anything. Should come in handy against an Adamantium-clawed adversary.
The role of Noburo Mori will be filled by Brian Tee (TV’s “Grimm”), who is of Japanese descent. The character is a corrupt minister of justice who is slated to marry Mariko Yashida, the daughter of a Yakuza crime lord who falls for Logan when he comes to Japan. She will be played by newcomer Tao Okamoto. As for the crime lord Lord Shingen Yashida, they’ve gotten Hiroyuki Sanada (“The Last Samurai”). Good choice, as the guy comes across as a genuine badass. Also cast are veteran actor Hal Yamanouchi (“The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”) as the elder Yashida and Rila Fukushima as Yukio, an assassin working for the Yashida clan. So at least the bulk of the Japanese roles are filled by Japanese actors.
According to Superherohype’s report, Twentieth Century Fox has confirmed that: “the film is inspired by the celebrated Marvel comic book arc by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller and that The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel clashes with adamantium claws as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.”
And contrary to previous reports, while much of the stage work will take place in Australia, a chunk of the shoot is scheduled to happen on locations around Japan. The film is set for a 26th July 2013 release with James Mangold directing. “X-Men” mainstay Lauren Shuler Donner will produce with Hugh Jackman, John Palermo and Hutch Parker.