James Mangold‘s The Wolverine partially succeeded simply because it went against the trend of current superhero movies. The spin-off sequel was still stuck between serious drama and cartoonish action, but at least the stakes were worthwhile without having to put the entire world at jeopardy (that plotline will come with Wolverine’s next adventure, X-Men: Days of Future Past). With Iron Man stopping an army off Extremis soldiers, Thor battling to save his world of Asgard, helicarriers crashing into Washington D.C. in Captain America’s upcoming film, and Guardians of the Galaxy having to, well, guard an entire galaxy, Wolverine can be the only game in town where a superhero can fight for lower stakes but maintain the personal drama.
Hit the jump for how this game might continue with Mangold, Hugh Jackman, and producer Lauren Shuler Donner.
According to Deadline, Mangold is in talks with 20th Century Fox to return for a Wolverine sequel and to write the treatment. Unsurprisingly, all plot details are being kept under tight wraps, but it’s possible they don’t even know what the plot will be at this point. The Wolverine used Logan’s most popular solo story—his time in Japan—but now they’re free to either work from scratch or loosely pull from any plotline from the character’s 39-year history.
Moving forward on a new Wolverine isn’t a tough decision for 20th Century Fox. The movie “grossed $413 million worldwide, with $132 million domestic and $280 million in international revenue” and Wolverine is the anchor of every single X-Men movie except for X-Men: First Class. Additionally, Fox only has two superhero properties—X-Men and Fantastic Four. They want to get the Fantastic Four reboot on screens by 2015, and at this rate they probably want The Wolverine 2 in by 2016 so that the studio will have at least one superhero tentpole per year.
Furthermore, Jackman has given no indication that he plans to retire from playing his signature character. Unnervingly, he almost looks even better now than he did in when he first came on the screen in 2000 to play Wolverine in X-Men.