Photo: Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine
After 2017’s critically acclaimed ‘Logan’, many assumed that that was the last we had seen of Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine, one of Marvel’s most iconic characters. This assumption was further cemented after Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, reverting the rights of all Marvel characters under the Fox banner back to Marvel Studios. Because of this, it was only fair to speculate that Marvel would eventually reboot the Wolverine character with a brand new actor in the MCU.
However, given the areas that the MCU has recently ventured into with the concept of the multiverse as well as recent social media posts by the actor himself on social media, fans, giving into their speculatory nature, can’t help but guess if it is too far-fetched to see Jackman return as Wolverine on the big screen in some fashion.
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Hugh Jackman’s Run As Weapon X
Hugh Jackman began playing the famous character in 2000’s ‘X-Men’ and its 2003 sequel ‘X2: X-Men United’. He continued to reprise his role in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ and ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ which, although panned by critics, both garnered praise solely for Jackman’s performance in the films. Jackman unsheathed his claws for a couple more outings with ‘The Wolverine’ and ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ as well as in cameos in ‘X-Men: First Class’ and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. His run officially culminated in 2017’s ‘Logan’, a heartfelt tribute to the character that featured arguably the single greatest performance of Jackman’s career. Jackman played the character for a total of seventeen years, even longer than Robert Downey Jr.’s time as Iron Man.
Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine is arguably the greatest of any comic book character. Whether the films were great or not, he always gave it his all when busting out the claws. It’s no wonder that fans and audiences would love to see him return to the role. On the other hand, some feel that ‘Logan’ was the perfect ending for the character (his death scene was probably the heaviest of that in any comic book movie), and to see him return would only diminish the power and significance of that film. Whichever side of the argument fans are on, it is clear that the basis around both beliefs is that Hugh Jackman’s run as Wolverine is the kind of actor-character relationship that comes once in a lifetime.
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Chances Of A Return
Recent events, however, have indicated that a return to the role for the actor may be on the table. One of these factors are recent social media posts by Jackman himself, such as posting a piece of Wolverine fan art followed shortly by a picture of himself with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige or a recent cryptic Instagram photo of the actor staring at his phone with a shocked expression. Another element to the social media aspect is Jackman’s faux online feud with Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds. Given the relationship between both these characters and with ‘Deadpool 3’ on the horizon, is it a stretch to suspect that maybe Jackman will have a cameo at the very least as Wolverine in the film? Fans are likely reading too much into all this as usual, but one cannot help but speculate.
Another factor that opens up the doorway for Jackman’s return as the character is the MCU’s recent onscreen introduction of the multiverse and how they’ve approached it thus far. Utilizing the multiverse in their films has enabled Marvel to bring back other beloved portrayals of certain characters by other actors. These include Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield both returning as their own versions of Spider-Man in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ as well as Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Professor Charles Xavier in ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, who played the character alongside Jackman’s Wolverine in most of the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Wolverine’ films. Fans lost their minds on seeing each of these actors return as their respective Marvel characters. The only other return that would cause them to do so would be Jackman’s Wolverine. With Marvel willing to bring these options to the table, it does not seem too difficult to imagine Hugh Jackman putting the claws up again.
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Why A Return Does Not Seem Likely
This may disappoint many fans hoping for this return to actually transpire, but it doesn’t seem like that’ll come to fruition. If Jackman does actually return as Wolverine, it will likely be nothing more than a cameo in ‘Deadpool 3’ as a simple wink-and-nod to fans. Maguire and Garfield’s return in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ was simply a satisfying final chapter for both versions of the character. Stewart’s return as Professor X was a small role in a scene made for fan service. As of right now, there is no possible scenario where Jackman’s Wolverine could return in a fashion that suits the story.
Additionally, it is safe to assume that Marvel is looking to move on with their own version of the character in the MCU. Recent reports have come out hinting that Taron Edgerton may be the actor they are looking at to play Weapon X, as the actor has expressed interest in the role and has revealed that he’s been in talks with the executives at Marvel Studios. This seems like something with a bigger possibility of happening, as Marvel is likely looking at someone young enough to play the character across multiple movies. As is always the case in Hollywood, anything is possible. But for now, fans should not get their hopes up. Jackman himself has echoed the sentiment that ‘Logan’ was the perfect conclusion for his iteration of the Wolverine character and that he isn’t sure if he can handle another rigorous fitness routine. Still, with everything we’ve seen in recent Marvel films, it is not entirely foolish to suspect this may someday happen.
By Nader Chamas
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Nader Chamas is an aspiring television writer who seeks to fuse thought provoking progressive ideals into the films, shows, and stories that he loves. Having graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Screenwriting, Nader seeks to use his writing to advance causes that do not get enough attention or input across mainstream media. Like most, Nader has his own share of his favorite franchises and stories across pop culture. However, he seeks to contribute timely and relevant topics into these stories as well as in his own original material. This is why Nader’s analysis of popular films and tv shows matches The Hollywood Insider’s practice of discussing entertainment from a socially cognizant and critical perspective.