The Wolverine casts four major roles

The Wolverine has made significant steps forward by casting four of its major roles, with a quartet of Japanese actors signing on to join Hugh Jackman in James Mangold's forthcoming adventure.

Established actors Hiroyuki Sanada and Hal Yamanouchi will be joined by newcomers Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima, as Wolverine heads to Japan and finds himself embroiled in all sorts of Yakuza-centric trouble.

Sanada will play mob boss Lord Shingen, whose daughter Mariko (Okamoto) is due to be forced into marriage with a rival crime lord when she falls for Wolverine. Fukushima will play Yukio, one of Shingen's assassins, while Yamanouchi will play another member of the Yashida crime family.

Mark Bomback has recently been performing a bit of a rewrite on the script, with an amnesia-suffering Wolverine set to return to Japan in search of answers concerning his involvement with the criminal underworld there. Meanwhile, director Mangold has stressed that the film will be a character-driven piece, comparing it to a western in a similar vein to The Outlaw Josey Wales .

Filming is set to begin shortly in Japan, with additional studio work taking place in Sydney, ahead of an official UK release date of 26 July 2013. Looks like The Wolverine is slowly dragging itself out of development hell, one claw-hold at a time...

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.