SYDNEY - The latest instalment of the X-Men franchise, “The Wolverine”, starring Hugh Jackman, will be shot in Australia, it was announced Friday.

The potential blockbuster was due to be filmed in Japan last year but the devastation from the tsunami and earthquake that hit in March put production on hold.

Sydney-born Jackman, who will reprise the role of the metal-clawed, muscled-up mutant, said he could not be more excited. “It will be great to work with the highly talented crew and to provide employment opportunities to so many people across all levels of the industry,” he said in a statement.

“Not to mention, Deb and I will get to spend some time with the family back in Australia,” he added, referring to his wife.

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, the fourth film in the franchise and a prequel to the original trilogy, was also filmed in Australia in 2008.