Hugh Jackman says The Wolverine will not be closely tied with previous X-Men films.
Technically, 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, long before the events of any of the other four, and on the other side of the world.
The story covers a part of Logan's time in Japan, long before Professor Xavier was even born (Logan is immortal, and has been around for a few hundred years). In a recent interview, 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."
In addition, the actor commented on the long wait between films, which was mostly caused by the departure of the original director, and the process of finding a replacement.
"I'm just really glad it's happening. For a while it's felt like a rocky ride. I think it's the best idea we've had, the strongest script we've had and that now we really have an opportunity to make something really great. I've been waiting for it so long now. I think half the material in my one-man show is about the wait for The Wolverine!"
The Wolverine is filming now, and is currently slated for a theatrical release on July 26th, 2013. James Mangold took over directing duties from Darren Arnofsky.