The Wolverine fills out its Japanese cast, including a villain

the wolverine picks up crucial asian cast members silversamurai

Ever since it was first announced, The Wolverine has been hit with a string of delays. Originally, fans of Marvel Comics’ most popular antihero were intensely excited to hear that Darren Aronofsky would be directing the film. His skill as an auteur might do for Wolverine what Christopher Nolan had done for Batman, fans hoped. Sadly, Aranofsky was forced to leave the project, causing many people to lose faith in the project.

Those who held out hope however, were bolstered by the inherent promise of the film’s plot. While some would argue that Wolverine has been overexposed on the big screen, one big aspect of the character’s history has never been explored by Hollywood: His time in Japan. Comic book fans likely know what we’re talking about, but for those of you unaware, the short version is that Wolverine spent years in the Land Of The Rising Sun, learning martial arts and attempting to quell his more feral instincts with the disciplined teachings of the samurai. He even fell in love with and married a woman while there (though she later died, leaving him free to put the moves on Cyclops’ telekinetic girlfriend). The Wolverine, as far as we know, focuses primarily on this period of the character’s life, which is great news given that the comics version of Logan’s time in Japan read like some awesome Clint Eastwood samurai movie that was simply too rad to exist in reality.

Now that the backstory is out of the way, we can get to the news: The most important members of the film’s Japanese cast have been assembled. ComingSoon reports:

Hiroyuki Sanada (“Lost,” Rush Hour 3, The Last Samurai) is set to play Shingen; veteran actor Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Push, Sinbad of the Seven Seas) plays Yashida; and new discoveries Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima will star as Mariko and Yukio, respectively.

What ComingSoon fails to mention is that Hiroyuki Sanada’s character also has an alter-ego. In superhuman circles, he’s more commonly known as the Silver Samurai. The character (pictured above) should be familiar to fans of Wolverine’s comic book escapades, or anyone who has played Marvel Vs Capcom 2. Additionally, Tao Okamoto’s character Mariko is that woman Wolverine falls in love with and eventually marries (assuming the film follows established comic book canon).

While we don’t expect you to be familiar with the names added to the cast of The Wolverine (most are unknown outside of Japan) it is nice to see the production reaching out to authentic Japanese people to fill these roles. Hollywood has a long history of playing fast and loose with race when it comes to casting its big budget films — in no reality is John Wayne a viable Genghis Khan — though it remains to be seen how possible language barriers might affect this film. Can all of these actors speak clear enough English to appease the director? If not, will fans tolerate subtitles on what they likely expect will be a simple comic book action movie? We’d like to think audiences can overlook a minor inconvenience like subtitling, but it’s been proven time and time again that American movie goers simply will not tolerate having to read text during a film. The Constitution guarantees us the right to be lazy and illiterate, and no movie studio can take that away from us.

Movies & TV

He created comics, movies, and superheroes. But Stan Lee lived for joy

Stan Lee was a creator, a celebrity, an icon, and beneath it all, a real-life good guy with all the same human qualities that made his superheroes so relatable. And his greatest joy was sharing his creations with the world.
Movies & TV

Amazon Prime subscribers can see 'Aquaman' a week early

Jason Momoa will bring Aquaman back to the big screen for a solo feature in December 2018. Here's everything we know so far about the aquatic superhero's live-action adventure in the DC Extended Universe.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

One popular character won't be returning for 'John Wick 3: Parabellum'

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.
Podcasts

Remembering Stan Lee, Fantastic Beasts 2 review, Apple goes Hollywood

This week on Between the Streams, we'll discuss the passing of comics and entertainment legend Stan Lee, a spoiler-free review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Apple's new partnership with indie movie studio A24, and more.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Deals

College sports are yours to watch live online with an ESPN+ free trial

It can be difficult to catch all the college games, especially for smaller conferences. Well, thanks to ESPN+ that’s no longer the case. Now, you won't need to miss any of your alma mater rival games.
Deals

You can now watch soccer games online with streaming service ESPN+

Launched back in April, ESPN+ is a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. For a mere $5 a month or $50 per year, you can have access to the best sports content available including multiple soccer leagues.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: The Coen brothers ride again and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Nnarcos: Mexico, and more.