Hugh Jackman recently announced that Wolverine 3 is going to be his last X-Men film and this means the role will be recast as Fox understands how important the role is to their cinematic universe. It’s going to be hard for a lot of fans to let go of Jackman as Logan and start thinking of how they can move forward with a new actor.
I’m with the understanding that X-Force could be a great project to slowly introduce a new actor in the role. Another way to go is going back to the character’s unexplored origins and there might be an interesting grounded avenue to pursue this with a solo film.
An idea I have for this reboot is going back to era of the X-Men franchise we really haven’t seen explored in a major way, that of course is the WWII era. We saw both X-Men and X-Men First Class introducing audiences to a young Magneto in a Nazi-controlled Jewish concentration camp, grounding the franchise into the real world using the backdrop of the holocaust and war for a comic book film.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine had hinted to Logan’s time serving during World War II, in the South Pacific ending-up in a Japanese prisoner of war and storming the beaches of Normandy. There’s obviously a huge chunk of Logan’s life dedicated to being a war-time soldier and we really haven’t seen that in the films.
The X-Men franchise went to the 1960’s to reboot itself with First Class, so seeing it head to the 1940’s for a Wolverine reboot wouldn’t be that shocking. A new trilogy focusing on his adventures during World War II, the Cold War, and Vietnam feels like the best way to approach rebooting the solo franchise. It’s about time Fox explored this side of the character rather than making it all about cramming-in mutant cameos.
It might be interesting to see him apart of some covert or black ops operations, perhaps taking-on more of a grounded approach to his storytelling. This made the first two acts of The Wolverine badass having Logan facing the Yakuza and had a very limited amount of other mutants in the film. Eventually, it went a bit overboard in the third act when he fought an old man in a giant mech-suit.
Logan going-up against a Nazi/Italian fascist threat with a platoon of human allied soldiers could be just as compelling if not more and give screenwriters a bit more of a blank slate when creating it’s story and making it character driven, rather than trying to overloading the film with mutant cameos. Whoever writes and directs could actually contribute to some original characters, and take a slightly different route than we’ve seen in previous X-Men films with a straight-up war movie.
Hell, we already know that Chris Claremont is willing to get involved with helping to write and give notes for the X-Men films, as he’s already contributed to Gambit writing treatments for it. Claremont had been involved creatively with Darren Aronofsky incarnation of The Wolverine and I’m sure Fox could look to him to help-out with new creative ways to keep making more X-Men films. Chris has stated in interviews he’s willing to work on whatever film projects Fox wants him to be apart of.
This could be the Nick Fury and Howling Commandos WWII film that Marvel will never end-up making, but Fox could pick-up that fumble and run with a grittier take of the war compared to Marvel’s The First Avenger.
Christopher McQuarrie wrote The Wolverine and actually helped Bryan Singer to develop the first two X-Men films, he’s someone I’d love to see takeover the franchise from James Mangold, if and when he decides to exit. My assumption being that he could be out of the picture once Hugh Jackman leaves, so that a new filmmaker can reboot the character.
McQuarrie is no stranger to franchise installments as he just made the fifth part in the Mission: Impossible series with Rogue Nation. He’d also be a great fit for a World War II setting since he’s already tackled the era writing the Bryan Singer film Valkyrie. It would be nice to see another writer and director combo for any of the X-Men films, but more importantly for a reboot for a character like Wolverine.
It could allow a slightly younger actor to take over for Hugh Jackman. I’ve been hearing a lot of suggestions to see Scott Eastwood (Fury, Flags of Our Fathers, Snowden, Suicide Squad) and Tom Hardy (Band of Brothers, Black Hawk Down, Child 44, Mad Max: Fury Road, Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Warrior) taking-on the role which I don’t think are terrible ideas. Although, I’ll still be rooting for British actor Richard Armitage (The Hobbit Trilogy, Captain America: The First Avenger, Strike Back).
There are plenty of locations the movie could focus on including Italy, North Africa or Holland which we don’t often get to see explored in the World War II genre as is. The film could take a bunch of cues from war films like Where Eagles Dare, The Dirty Dozen, Saving Private Ryan, Black Book, Inglorious Basterds, and The Big Red One.
Would you want to see Wolverine kicking-ass in a WWII action adventure movie?