Hugh Jackman has confirmed he will shoot a new Wolverine movie in Sydney later this year.
With filming delayed in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami last year, The Wolverine will start filming for the Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox in August.
The movie will reputedly follow the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a crime lord, amid the samarai culture in Japan.
“Sydney is going to be doubling for Japan in a big way,” Jackman told Channel Nine.
It will be the sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which also shot in Sydney four years ago.
While that movie, a spin-off from the X-Men franchise, disappointed many critics, it still took more than $370 million worldwide three years ago and confirmed Jackman’s appeal as the gruff superhero.
Much of the shoot for the first Wolverine movie took place at Fox Studios and Cockatoo Island with exterior scenes around the city and in New Zealand.
Jackman said in a statement: “I couldn’t be more excited to return to Australia to film the next chapter in the Wolverine saga, thanks to the significant support from the Federal and NSW Governments … Not to mention, Deb (wife Deborra-Lee Furness) and I will get to spend some time with the family back in Australia!”
He specifically thanked the Prime Minister, Julia Gilliard – “she was instrumental with this” – for supporting plans to shoot the movie in Australia.
The Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, said the movie would create almost 2000 jobs for cast, crew and extras, and spend more than $80 million in the state.
“It is a testament to our screen industry that Hugh Jackman and his team have chosen to come back to NSW, after such a positive experience making X-Men Origins: Wolverine here in 2008,” Mr Stoner said.
While the high value of the dollar has been a disincentive for international productions, the state has also attracted The Great Gatsby, Lego and Walking With Dinosaurs 3D.