Wolverine, Yukio and Viper spotted in Sydney

Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Svetlana Khodchenkova (Viper) were recently caught by photographers in Sydney, preparing to film a scene on the streets.

These photographs were taken by a sneaky photographer in The Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney. The focus is of course Hugh Jackman, who plays the film’s title character, although one of the photos also reveals Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper. Here’s the best of the set:

The girl in pink hair near him in most of the shots is co-star Rila Fukushima, who plays Yukio, a non-mutant ninja allied with the Mutant Underground, in the film. In the comics, Yukio begins as Wolverine’s enemy, but develops a crush on him, and helps him out in the end.

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is being used to represent old Japanese streets. Why they didn’t just film this scene in Japan while they were there last month is uncertain. It seems that this was just a set-visit in preparation for filming this weekend, as neither actor was in costume, and the cameras weren’t rolling. The film crew has put in a permit to film in that location this weekend, and a description of the scene, as filed with Sydney officials, has surfaced online:

“A couple being pursued on foot as they dodge through traffic in a Japanese city street. They are nearly hit by passing vehicles but manage to keep going. A man runs along roof tops of adjacent buildings above shooting their pursuers with a crossbow. Possible simulated crossbow shooting from a rooftop.”

Usually filmmakers try to keep exact shooting times and locations a secret when they need to be done out in the street like this, and with this info out there now, there will likely be extra security, and they may change their schedule a bit to deter onlookers. Don’t be surprised, however, if long-lens photos of this weekend’s shoot show up online on Monday.

The Wolverine is part of the franchise of films which includes the X-Men trilogy and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.X-Men: First Class is a different continuity – but it takes place far from the action of the other films, before the events of any of the events of the original trilogy, and on the other side of the world.

The story covers a part of Logan’s time in Japan, before being recruited by Professor Xavier. In an interview earlier this year, Jackman revealed that it will be even less connected than one might have expected.

“We’ve deliberately not called it Wolverine 2 because we want it to be placed and feel like a standalone picture,” he explained. “With an all-new cast and setting it in Japan, it’s going to give us a whole new visual aesthetic. The approach to character means we won’t be overloaded with mutants and teams and the like, so it’ll be more character-based. I think in many ways it will feel like a completely different X-Men film.”

Filming of The Wolverine is nearly through the primary photography stage, and is currently slated for a July 26th, 2013 release.