Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine for a decade and a half. He has taken up the roll 7 times, with starring rolls in 6 movies. The fans love him and I greatly respect the commitment to the roll. He carried the character through the good, the bad, and the ugly Deadpool.
Jackman said that he was 99% sure that Wolverine 3 would be his last portrayal of Logan (Wolverine 3 would be scheduled for after Apocalypse). I respect that decision. 20 years is a long time to play anyone that isn’t yourself.
Recently, however, Jackman saw Birdman, the winner for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Birdman is about a washed up Superhero actor that tries to rejuvenate his image. Evidently the film struck home with Jackman, who said, “At one point, you’re right, I said I was pretty sure [that ‘Wolverine 3’ would be my last outing in the role]. But I’m less sure as it goes along. Because after seeing this movie, the whole thing feels fresher to me than ever. And during this movie…I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s kind of like a clean slate, so who knows where it’s going to go. As long as I have the passion for it and the fans will have me.”
Granted, he may reverse his position again, but would we as the fans still want Hugh Jackman as Wolverine? Of course, the immediate knee-jerk response for many would be “yes!”. I am not in this group.
Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine beautifully. He has taken the character through his memory issues, trust issues, love affair, heartbreak, and even time travel. The character’s arc from messed-up rogue to reformed and repaired teacher was quite evident in Days of Future Past. He even helped Professor X himself come to terms with his own grief. He was the main character of the majority of the X-men Universe, and I see it as only fitting that he is the only character to “survive” the reboot. The original movies are Wolverine’s story. He is the only one who still remembers them. He has a very satisfactory “happy ending”.
I am even against the idea of a Wolverine 3. I don’t see what else the character could do to expand on what has already been done. There are all sorts of questions about what the story could even be about. There was a recent “Death of Wolverine” storyline in comics. Would they really come back just to kill him, especially when The Wolverine made a point of having a moment of death for him. The Wolverine focused on his grief over Jean Grey. What else does the character need?
I love the approach of other movies in the X-men future. We have solo Gambit and Deadpool movies approaching. We have X-men Apocalypse, bringing back old characters with very young actors. The X-men world is focusing on rebuilding a team. In this light of young actors, a 50-year-old Logan would seem out of place (he was around 30 in the first X-men movie). To include Wolverine would set the story back on the path of the original movies. By not having him, it sets the movies aside into a notably different path.
In short, the character of Wolverine has spent his time in the sun. He was wonderfully portrayed and beautifully dynamic. I appreciate everything that Hugh Jackman did for the character. But now, it’s time to let others step forward. Wolverine has an extremely satisfying ending. It’s time to let the character rest for a decade or so.What do you think? Would you want Hugh Jackman in Apocalypse or other similar stories? There’s a poll below and let me know specifically in the comments. As for the future of Wolverine and Hugh Jackman, only time will tell.