James Mangold On Jean Grey's Wolverine Role

Warning: also contains credit sting details...

There's a definite Wolverine flavour to today (gamey with an adamantium tang). The new issue of Empire leads off with a cover dedicated to the katana-wielding mutant and Entertainment Weekly has extracted some info on Jean Grey and Professor X's mysterious appearances from hitherto tight-lipped director James Mangold.

First up, Famke Janssen's Jean Grey. The character, of course, died at Wolverine's hands in X-Men: The Last Stand (to save the world! Not because he didn't like her!), but will return in some capacity in The Wolverine, although what that capacity is has been left open to spectulation.

Mangold has offered an important pointer, though, likening her role to a small-screen dynamic that will be very familiar to Battlestar Galactica fans. "[She] pops up to mock, comfort and advise Logan much as Number 6 tortured Gaius Baltar," explains the director, hinting at the mental turmoil - and possibly the odd hallucination - Logan will be experiencing during his time in Japan.

As recently reported, Professor X is also back on deck for a brief closing cameo that will see him reunite with X-Men: Days Of Future Past cohort. But, stresses Mangold, "it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what's inside [The Wolverine]". In other words, Prof X will act as connective tissue between this movie and Days Of Future Past. The Nick Fury role, if you like.

The Wolverine is out on July 26 in the US and a day earlier on these shores. If you're in Japan, you'll have to wait until September 6, which seems a little unfair.