When it was first announced that 20th Century Fox would be putting out a sequel to 2009’s cinematic dud, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, most people assumed that it would again be another prequel to Bryan Singer’s original X-Men movies. But in an interview with Empire, director James Mangold explains that it actually takes place after those movies.

"Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all," Mangold told the magazine. "Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there’s a tremendous sense of isolation for him."

Mangold also talked about one of the main themes of the movie: "I wanted to be able to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it. The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me that’s such an interesting part of Logan’s character that is nearly impossible to explore if you have a kind of league or team movie."

The idea of Wolverine struggling to find himself in Japan after the death of Jean and without the help of the X-Men is exactly the type of stuff Chris Claremont and Frank Miller did with the character when he became an icon in the ‘80s. If Hugh Jackman and James Mangold can capture that type of emotion and ferocity, we might finally see Wolverine on the big screen the way he was meant to be.

The Wolverine will hit theaters on July 26, 2013.

RELATED: The 10 Best Wolverine Stories 

[via Empire]