Wolverine Poster

20th Century Fox

The Wolverine doesn't claw its way into theaters until next July, but we're now starting to get bits and pieces of what we might expect from Hugh Jackman's highly anticipated return to mutant form.

Starting with one very big reveal: the movie's first teaser poster.

The art was unleashed Monday night as part of a live online Q&A session with Jackman and director James Mangold.

Here, Wolverine's brooding silhouette (not to mention some serious superhero muscles) is rendered in traditional Asian watercolor style—a sleek homage to the film's Japanese setting, where, per Wolverine comic-book lore, our hero honed much of his combat skills before facing off against nemesis Silver Samurai.

But that wasn't the only nugget we got yesterday.

Jackman and Mangold spilled some big hints about the movie's storyline while deep-sixing speculation that it'll pick up from where Wolverine's first solo outing, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, left off.

Hugh Jackman scruffs it up for X-Men return

"This film situates itself essentially after the three X-Men movies that exist," the director said, "and finds Logan at a point when the X-Men are gone, Jean Grey is gone, a lot of the ties he had to the world are gone."

Apparently, those severed ties include any reference to the the first Wolverine movie, which was widely panned.

"I wanted to place this movie and this story somewhere where Hugh and I could develop a movie which could create its own world—wasn't having to, in the sense, hand off to another movie or answer to another movie," Mangold explained.

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For Jackman, the sequel essentially gave him a chance to sink his claws into a meaty storyline he'd long wanted to tackle.

"From X-Men 1, my secret dream was to always shoot this particular arc of the Logan story," noted Jackman, who'd previously worked with Mangold on 2001's Kate & Leopold.

"It's from a very popular comic-book arc, the samurai story based in Japan. Logan comes into it very much the tragic hero that's he's written as. Everybody that's meant anything to him is gone, a lot of which he blames on himself."

Which can only mean one thing: Start queuing up those brooding Wolverine shots!

"He's definitely at his lowest point at the beginning of this movie," Jackman revealed.

The Wolverine storms into theaters on July 26, 2013.

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