Last April, the internet was caught in a frenzy when Hugh Jackman was thinking about retiring as Wolverine. When SFX Magazine pushed Jackman on the topic of him staying around as Wolverine, the Australian actor said that the next solo Wolverine film, his possible ninth time as the character on film, would be his last.
I don’t know yet. We’re talking it through. I still am very ambitious for the character. And tonally I feel like we corrected the ship with the last one. But I feel we can still go further, in a way. If I did another one I’m 99.9% sure it would be the last, so that will inform what it is for me.
He then went on to say that if the third Wolverine film was to be his last, he’d like to see an adaptation of Old Man Logan, the popular arc from the Marvel comic, adapted to screen.
Well, of course we’re looking at Old Man Logan, because that may be the only option left at this point! [laughs] We are looking at a lot of different storylines. No one has jumped out. You can tell from my answer that we’re still working it out. I’m working with Jim Mangold, which is exciting. Jim came on board The Wolverine after Darren [Aronofsky] left, so he inherited it. And of all the things that Jim can do, one of the great things he does is develop scripts. I’m excited to see what we can come up with, but I haven’t ‘signed on’ signed on. I’m genuinely at that point where unless it’s better than the last one I’m not going to do it.
A year can change a lot of things though, and it appears that Jackman isn’t as ready to hang up the claws and give them to a new actor as many may have thought. In a recent interview with Cigar Aficionado , Jackman said he’s ready to play the character not just a few more times, but for the rest of his life. Apparently his revelation came from watching Birdman, the film that won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
I said to my wife, ‘The moral is that I should never stop playing Wolverine. I’ve got to find a way to keep playing him until I die.’ I know that someday they’ll recast the role with another actor…I’d be happy if the role was eventually recast. It would mean that it had become iconic. I always want to be in better shape than I was for the last one. I don’t believe in stagnation. People say they try to maintain the status quo. But I believe the natural cycle means you’re either advancing and getting closer to something or you’re receding…Every time I play Wolverine I want to go further, physically and emotionally.
That’s a huge shift in his perception a year ago, but it’s hard to deny how happy fans would be to see Jackman continuing in the role for as long as he could. Jackman is one of the longest running actors to play a role in one comic book series, and he’s one that audiences and fans alike have embraced as the character. It would be hard to accept anyone else in the role, and it’s great to see Jackman’s enthusiasm for the Wolverine character is still there, and that he wants to embrace it as long as he can. We still have at least two more films with Jackman in the role, with him seemingly having a part in X-Men: Apocalypse, as well as the sequel to The Wolverine, which will see Jackman re-teaming with James Mangold, who directed the last solo Wolverine film. There’s also the chance Jackman could pop up in both Deadpool and Gambit as the character, so all bets are off.
I’m sure we’ll learn more about all this as The Wolverine sequel moves closer to development, but it’s good to see an actor who truly just loves the character and wants to continue to do it as long as he can. It’s an enthusiasm that doesn’t seem to be shared by many of his peers, but it’s good to see Jackman taking it in stride, and hoping to do the best he can with the character.