Those of you who were worried that The Wolverine cast would be white-washed can put your fears to rest. A slew of new casting additions include two veteran actors and two relative newcomers to the screen, all of Japanese descent. Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai) and Hal Yamanouchi (The Way Back) will be joined by Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima. The latest additions to director James Mangold’s The Wolverine will join Hugh Jackman, who is starring in the title role. We previously reported that Japanese talent would be featured in the film, which will shoot on soundstages in Australia starting this August along with on-location shots scheduled for Japan. The Wolverine is currently set for a July 26th, 2013 release. Hit the jump for more details.
[Update: Variety reports that Will Yun Lee (Die Another Day) has also joined the cast as the film’s villain, Harada (aka The Silver Samurai).]
News on the recent casting additions to The Wolverine (via Comingsoon) don’t fill in many additional plot details, but the roles for each actors gives us a little something to go on. The Wolverine will reportedly follow the comic book arc from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller in which Wolverine/Logan finds himself as an outsider in Japan. Sanada will play Shingen, a character created by Claremont and Miller, who was a Yakuza crime boss and antagonist to Wolverine. Yamanouchi is reportedly playing a character called Yashida, who may be the head of the Yashida clan to which Shingen belonged. Okamoto will star as Mariko, daughter of Shingen and one-time fiancee to Wolverine. Fukushima is set to play Yukio, one of the deadliest assassins in Shingen’s clan. If the script plays out along the lines of the comic, audiences will be in for a lot of heartbreak, betrayal and dishonor to go along with adamantium claws and mutant healing factor. Sounds like a winning combination.