Does Hugh Jackman ever slow down? From what we can report, the answer is a definitive no way, mate. For the cover story of our annual Summer Must List issue, EW visited the actor last year on the Sydney set of The Wolverine (in theaters July 26), where Jackman jumped and leapt and charmed his way through a series of seemingly back-breaking stunts that he made look as easy as pie. That’s entertainment — and who embodies the power and pop of summer in the cinema better than Jackman?
This is the epically buff, 44-year-old Australian’s sixth time at bat as Wolverine, and as he tells EW, he wants to make sure fans (and newcomers) walk away from the newest installment better acquainted with the elusive anti-hero than they might have after 2009’s critical dud X-Men Origins: Wolverine. “Somehow the first Wolverine movie ended up looking like the fourth X-Men – just with different characters,” he says. “I left unsure if we’d achieve our goal, which was to make sure people understood my character. This movie will really get to his core.”
Jackman reunited with director James Mangold (who worked with him on 2001’s Kate & Leopold) on a decidedly darker, more artistic approach to the character – this time, we see Logan headed to Japan, where he faces down two villains new to the franchise (The Silver Samurai and Viper), sneaky samurais (yes!), the Japanese mob and a gang of ninjas – on motorbikes! Our feature story gets the scoop on Logan’s new love interest, next summer’s new X-Men installment and some new thoughts from Jackman on Wolverine’s future in movies.
Inside our Summer Must List issue, you’ll also find behind-the-scenes scoop about Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn’s buddy comedy The Internship, Seth Rogen in This Is the End, Olivia Munn in The Newsroom, FX’s new police drama The Bridge, summer tour MVPs Tegan and Sara, the new novel from author Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep), the best in new games and tech, plus our helpful “99 Ways to Spend 99 Days Calendar” — and plenty more.