After seeing Hugh Jackman at Comic-Con 2013 for “The Wolverine” and “X-Men” Panel, it was a blast to see him with four leading female characters in “The Wolverine” that hit theaters last night. While it was disappointing that there are almost no Americans in this film, we should celebrate the four powerful female actors and their characters: Tao Okamoto (Mariko), Rila Fukushima (Yukio), Svetlana Khodchenkova (VIPER), and Famke Beumer Janssen (Jean Gray.) To hear Hugh talk about this new movie, watch our Comic-Con VIDEO: Hugh Jackman wows Wolverine Fans.
In front of 6,600 die-hard fans in Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center, Hugh Jackman announced, “It’s in the DNA of the comic book series. His saving grace and his kryptonite is women so finally in this movie, there are four incredible female characters…Jean Gray is back,… but there are three other great female characters, and personally and on behalf of Wolverine, that was a great thing.”
Out of these four female characters, my favorite has to be Yukio (Rila Fukushima), who’s red hair and personality are powerful. She takes on the job of being “Wolverine’s body guard”, and can foresee when people are going to die. As a fearless fashion model and actress, watch for her in future films.
Tao Okamoto (Mariko) plays the daughter of the richest guy in Japan (Yashida, played by Hal Yamanouchi (old Yashida) and Ken Yamamura (young Yashida.) Because Wolverine saved her father’s life many years ago, he is summoned back to Tokyo to say good-bye to a dying man (and a few other things.) When the rich man’s final days get twisted, Mariko stays calm and cool with Wolverine and Harada (played by Will Yun Lee, born in Arlington, Virginia) by her side.
Svetlana Khodchenkova (VIPER) plays the evil doctor for Yashida. Her green “action figure” costume is priceless. She’s messing with germ warfare, and the twists with this character result in many puncture wounds for Wolverine.
Also in this movie, Jean Gray’s character (Famke Beumer Janssen) resurfaces in Wolverine’s dreams. It’s a constant struggle for Hugh Jackman’s character who is still in love with her, yet finds himself distracted by the other women in this comic book remake.
During Comic-Con, Hugh Jackman gave the background on this very different film, “Everything Jim (Director James Mangold) and I wanted to do about this movie was to make sure that fans who’ve seen the X-Men, first Wolverine movies or for those who haven’t. This is something completely fresh, completely different. Obviously you guys know, it emanates from one of the most famous comic book arcs, the Japanese story or Samuri saga. And 13 years ago, I first read that in my trailer filming X-Men 1, and I said…, this is the movie that we need to make. Well, 13 years later, it’s here.”
And yes, “The Wolverine” is unlike the others. It could be called Hugh Jackman goes to Toyko, but then again, it is based on the classic 1982 Claremont and Miller Wolverine comic book mini-series. This series is well-known for portraying Wolverine as a “bruiser and brawler” and turned him into ronin, the Samurai without a master.
After hearing about “The Wolverine” at Comic-Con, the cast of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” took the stage. Hugh expressed great gratitude, “This is an embarrassment of riches…This is two great movies in one, if I just got to do one of these movies in my life, I’d be happy. The fact that I’m with everyone here, this is something that I’ll never forget.”
And it was great to see four powerful women on this “X-Men” panel, including Halle Berry (“Monsters Ball”), Anna Pacquin (“True Blood”), Ellen Page (“Inception”), and Jennifer Lawrence (“Hunger Games”) which you can watch in our VIDEO: X-Men Cast at Comic-Con 2013.
Go see “The Wolverine,” and stay through the first set of credits to see a few surprises and connection to “X-Men.”
© Liz H Kelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist and Goody PR Founder http://goodypr.com