The 3:10 to Yuma helmer directs Hugh Jackman in his sixth appearance as Logan/Wolverine, for what is described as a standalone film, separate from 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Mangold also suggested to Empire that the film takes place outside of all previous X-Men continuity, rather than being a prequel as has widely been assumed.
"Where this film sits in the universe of the films is after them all. Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there's a tremendous sense of isolation for him," he said.
It was rumoured earlier this week that Famke Janssen will make an appearance as Wolverine's former love interest Jean Grey.
"[It] was very important that I land in a very specific place in his timeline," Mangold explained of the film's self-contained continuity. "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."
Copyright: Newspix / Rex FeaturesHe went on to explain that the psychological story he wanted to tell would not have been well served by an ensemble or team-based film, in the way that the first three X-Men films and X-Men: First Class were.
"The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story," he said, "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 Wolverine will be released on July 25, 2013.
Watch Hugh Jackman discussing the film with Digital Spy below: