By Adam Markovitz
Updated June 01, 2013 at 04:00 PM EDT
Credit: Ben Rothstein
  • Movie

When The Wolverine hits theaters July 26, Hugh Jackman’s claw-slinging hero will face a slew of deadly new enemies like the Silver Samurai and Viper. But his biggest foe might just be himself — or at least, the specter of 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which grossed an impressive $373 million worldwide but disappointed fans with its tangled storyline and cheesy FX.

Even Jackman admits the movie fell short of his expectations. “I had something to prove, and we could have done better,” the actor told EW in an interview for the cover story of the annual Must List issue (on stands now). “Somehow the first Wolverine movie ended up looking like the fourth X-Men — just with different characters. I left unsure if we’d achieved our goal, which was to make sure people understood my character.”

But Jackman is hopeful that The Wolverine, helmed by James Mangold (Walk the Line) with a script that delves into a fan-favorite storyline set in Japan, can rescue Logan’s big-screen reputation. “This movie will really get to his core,” he says. “So… Fingers crossed that we’ve done it this time. I’m pretty confident we have.”

For more of EW’s interview with Hugh Jackman and the makers of The Wolverine, check out this week’s issue, on stands now.

(Reporting by Nicholas Fonseca and Geoff Boucher)

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The Wolverine

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 136 minutes
  • James Mangold