Hugh Jackman says 'The Wolverine' will be a "stand alone" film
It's probably a good idea to just act like X-men Origins: Wolverine never happened. The film was utter crap, and combined with X-men: The Last Stand very nearly put Fox's mutant franchise on ice. I think that may be part of the reason why star Hugh Jackman has been so hands-on during development on The Wolverine, and he seems to be willing to forget the past and let this film stand on its own.
While talking to Total Film, Jackman makes it clear that The Wolverine shouldn't be considered a proper sequel, but a story that takes place during an indeterminate time in the feral mutant's life...
Jackman: "We've deliberately not called it Wolverine 2 because we want it to be placed and feel like a standalone picture. 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."
Remember, this is a project that once had Darren Aronofsky at the helm, so this approach to the character shouldn't surprise anybody. The original Chris Claremont story from which it was based focuses on the development of Wolverine as more than just a savage killer, establishing the honor code he would carry with him into the present. It also sorta sets up the recurring theme of Wolverine's lovers becoming targets of his enemies. So there's a lot to play with here, and I expect Jackman and director James Mangold will do it justice. The Wolverine will hit theaters on July 26th 2013.