The Wolverine Begins Filming Next Week

Earlier this month, ComicBook.com brought you the news that Hugh Jackman would begin filming The Wolverine in Australia by the end of July, and last night, the actor confirmed it. They'll just barely squeak by, of course, beginning filming next week. Flanked by the Prime Minister of Australia and The Wolverine director James Mangold, Jackman appeared in Sydney to discuss the shoot with reporters.

"I am so happy to be home. To be shooting a movie of this magnitude here at home to me is one of the great privileges I've had in my career," Jackman told reporters on the set of the film, according to the AFP.

Jackman, who first played Wolverine in 1999's X-Men, reportedly confessed that he was having difficulty getting back into shape following his role in Les Miserables, in which he stars alongside The Dark Knight Rises standout Anne Hathaway and Man of Steel's Russell Crowe. He had to put on weight to play Jean Valjean in the film, and is now struggling to shed those pounds to play Wolverine again. Still, the actor calls the role of Logan the backbone of his career and says he still loves the character.

"I had no choice at the time, I was going to take anything that came along, but I happened to have walked into probably the most interesting and complex of the superhero characters," Jackman said. "I've always loved playing it and when I stop loving it I'll stop doing it."

The film is still not fully cast yet, with last week's rumors that Jessica Biel would take the part being rejected by Mangold and no ready replacement offered for the jettisoned star, who was reported to be in talks to play Viper in the film.

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The movie is set in Japan, but there's been some confusion as to whether any of it will actually be filmed there. Reports earlier this month suggested that it would be filmed entirely in Australia, due to complications filming in Japan following the catastrophic tsunami that struck the island nation in 2011, leaving substantial infrastructure damage behind.

The Wolverine is set for release on July 26, 2013.