We live in a golden age of superhero cinema. But for all the caped crusaders gracing our screens, few stars are as inextricably tied to their roles as Hugh Jackman.
That’s what happens when you play the same adamantium-clawed mutant for 17 years.
Now Jackman is set to bid farewell to his iconic role in the upcoming Logan. However, if circumstances were different, the actor might not have felt quite so ready to hang up the mutton chops for good.
For years, the Australian actor – who first rose to international stardom with his breakthrough role in director Bryan Singer’s 2000 film X-Men – has toyed with the idea of leaving the franchise behind. Thus far, he has appeared as Wolverine in nine of the 10 produced X-Men films, though his face does briefly pop up in Deadpool as well.
With Logan, Jackman and director James Mangold get the chance to end the character’s story on their terms, and early word is the film very much lives up to the hype, as it currently stands as the best-reviewed X-Men film to date.
Though the film appears to be a high note, Jackman revealed to Screen Rant how the possibility of bringing Wolverine into the Marvel cinematic universe might have kept him from declaring Logan his swan song.
“If (an Avengers movie) was on the table when I made my decision, it certainly would have made me pause, that’s for sure. Because I always love the idea of him within that dynamic, with the Hulk obviously, with Iron Man. But there’s a lot of smarter people with MBAs who can’t figure that out (laughter). You never know.
“I don’t know. This was (the story) that I really thought … When I spoke with the guys who created Old Man Logan – a lot of people think, ‘Oh this is Old Man Logan.’ And I’m like, ‘Well …’ The inspiration for that was Unforgiven. That’s what we have in common. But there’s no Hulk babies in this one.
“At the moment, honestly, if I really did have them there, I probably wouldn’t have said this is the last. It just feels like this is the right time” to leave the character.
Intriguingly, Jackman seems open to the idea of reprising the role if Fox and Marvel Studios are able to work out a deal which would result in the X-Men universe finally sharing the same big-screen space with the Avengers. While Marvel has struck such an arrangement with Sony and its rights to Spider-Man, the company has a far more contentious relationship with Fox, largely spurred by the latter’s mishandling of the Fantastic Four.
Marvel even went so far as to cancel the corresponding comic book.
This being said, part of what has Logan gaining so much praise is its status as a mostly standalone entry in the X-Men franchise, unencumbered by the series’ convoluted continuity. Its self-contained story is then in direct opposition to the kind of universe-building Marvel Studios is famous for.
Still, fans would likely jump at the chance to see Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America all share a single frame. So, it seems, would Jackman.
He’s proven his mettle as a leading man. Now it’s up to the bean counters at Marvel Studios and Fox to create a scenario which may woo him back to the X-Men.
Logan, by the way, makes its debut March 3.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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