When we think of the perfect summer blockbuster, we think of action -- and July's "The Wolverine" will have more than enough, star Hugh Jackman says.
The 44-year-old is back for another round as the ferocious mutant Logan/Wolverine, but James Mangold's take is somewhat darker than its predecessors.
As the trailers have shown, the typically sly Logan appears to be in a pretty serious funk as he's haunted by thoughts of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). When a man whose life he once saved summons him to Japan, the ageless mutant is presented with an offer of mortality as a so-called expression of gratitude.
"He's sort of interested in it, because if your life is not great and there is a lot of regret and pain, would it be great to live on and on?" Jackman said of his character's dilemma. And yet, as Wolverine hints in the trailer, the time hasn't come where he has nothing left to live for.
Fans are anticipating seeing the iconic "X-Men" character put up an intense fight against his foes -- part of which happens atop a bullet train, as previews have shown.
"The only bad thing about filming a scene on the bullet train is that the wind machines are so powerful that when you watch it back on the monitor, you're like, 'man, I got to get a facelift because there's just skin flying everywhere,' " Jackman joked. "When I was lying on that train, I would just get pushed back -- and a couple of times, I just fell off of the train."
But, as a guy who loves the "popcorn element" of summer movies, he knows those sorts of action sequences are what audiences are hoping for.
"Yes, ('The Wolverine') is a character piece, and I would say it may be a little darker in tone than the others, and it certainly feels a little different, (but) it's just as much fun," Jackman said. "The action is probably in this is more inventive than we've ever had before."
CNN's Nischelle Turner spoke with Jackman about how he bulked up once again, his character's vulnerable side and why Wolverine makes a pretty solid wingman for a teen.
CNN: Looking at you, the only thing I can say is, "Wolverine is back!"
Hugh Jackman: He's back, and I couldn't be happier. I never in a million years would've thought (that) I'd still be playing this character (12 years later). It kind of really is shocking to me, but at the same time, it's such an instant gratitude, because I love this character.
CNN: So you know him now, really know him?
Jackman: I hope so. I feel like I do. I certainly feel proprietorial over him, and, you know, I have now read a lot of (the) comic books. Being someone who had never read the comic books, when I first heard about the audition, I was like, 'They want me to play Brian Maddox?' who is the lead of this Aussie rock band called the Uncanny X-Men. ... So I knew nothing. It's been a great ride.
CNN: This picks up after "X-Men 3," so we do know that Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) has met her demise -- but I've seen the trailers. She's there!
Jackman: I don't want to give away too much. She is there in the way that loved ones are always there ... in a very real way, she's there.
CNN: Is it safe to say that Wolverine, especially in this movie, is a little bit of a sensitive superhero?
Jackman: He's certainly more vulnerable.
CNN: He's a broken man, a bit.
Jackman: Oh, yeah. I mean, Wolverine is the toughest superhero. I may be biased, but I think he's the toughest. He doesn't necessarily have the strongest powers on paper, but ... he's the one guy who you don't want to be on his bad side. In this movie, however, you kind of see the toll of that; we start with him questioning everything. His life has been dominated by pain, by regret, mistakes ...
CNN: He loses the love of his life.
Jackman: (He) loses the love of his life, (and) we've seen that impact. He's one of those people where whenever he gets close to someone, bad things tend to happen. So in a way, not only for himself but for the world, he decides to just completely go off the reservation and sort of deny who he is and be like a recluse.
CNN: But there is something that's bringing him back
Jackman: There is something bringing him back. ... He just can't help himself, you know? I think the thing I love about him is, you know, he's reluctant, he doesn't want to get involved, he's not an idealist, but at the end of the day when there is an injustice, he can't help but rise to the occasion.
CNN: He's such a great character. (Playing him) had to raise the cool factor by 20 million with your kids.
Jackman: It does, yeah. Except now my son's turning 13, and he's like, "you're really nothing like Wolverine, are you?"