For every good X-Men film out there, there seems to be an equally terrible sequel or prequel to remind us how quickly the franchise can go wrong on the big screen. So how does Wolverine director James Mangold plan to avoid the pitfalls? Easy. Don't make it like an X-Men movie.
In a great interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mangold talked about his approach to the film and how he tried to keep it loyal to the comic book canon. It's that desire that led him to set it after the big-screen X-Men trilogy, to tell his own story on his own terms.
Here's an excerpt from the interview:
"I felt the most liberating thing about coming after the other movies is you don't have to hand it off or end it in some way that meets up with a previous film. For creative freedom, I didn't want to have to, essentially, land this film in Wichita because that's where the next one takes off from. It helped me to be really free, and in some ways be more loyal to Claremont/Miller, without having to be tied to other films...Mangold went on to say he tried to remain loyal to Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's beloved 1982 comic run Wolverine, which was set in Japan and followed a similar storyline to the upcoming film. Comic fans should be pleasantly surprised by how seriously Mangold takes the comic canon, he said:
What I felt like I hadn't seen as a comic book fan, was I felt I hadn't seen Logan and his rage. That sense of darkness. Without getting into the  Wolverine movie, which is an origin story, with the X-Men movies he's part of a team, so he gets little scenelets, but they're essentially team movies. The liberty I have making a film like this is I can find him. I'm not cutting away to catch you up on any of the Thunderbird team members. It's his emotional experience, his trajectory, his sense of loss, and his own ambivalence about his powers and talents."
"It's definitely more. A lot of that story and a lot of beats from that saga are in there -- and a lot of characters. Without being religious about it, I think it's a very admiring adaptation. Obviously when you're adapting anything you make some changes. But all the characters are there - Yukio, Viper, Mariko, Shingen, and Logan obviously. The whole cast of characters that exist in that world exists in our film."Do you like the idea of making a standalone film, or do you wish Wolverine were a more direct sequel to the X-Men series?
(Via Entertainment Weekly)