There has been plenty of fan speculation since the announcement that Marvel Studios would be rebooting the X-Men in their own cinematic universe that somehow Hugh Jackman could be convinced to play the part for one more decade or a couple of films. However, Hugh has retired from the role, there is also some apprehension coming from The Wolverine and Logan director James Mangold too in a recently interview.
While speaking with Comic Book, the director laid out a convincing stance on why Marvel Studios and Hugh Jackman shouldn’t bring back his version of Wolverine without a very good reason or strong story.
MANGOLD: “I’d be startled that Hugh was strapping it on again. The thing that I always want to know when I hear this is obviously, on the web, everyone trades in rumors. So, the nugget or the headline becomes the clickbait in the trade so that it would be, ‘Downey’s back,’ or ‘Jackman’s back,’ would be the headline, which people would then debate. What I’d be curious about if any one of these things happened would be, what are they doing with it? Meaning, I would have no qualm about it if someone had a good idea. If it’s basically, ‘I ran out of money and I needed a big paycheck, and I’m doing an empty film that cheapens the quality of the previous.’ Well, that would be its own sadness.”
“The reality is that, if you have a good idea for a character, then there’s nothing wrong with doing anything. I don’t make these rules. For me, I’m always just asking that someone do something imaginative that doesn’t just seem like you’re taking all these assets and throwing them on a screen again, just to make dough. That seems to me to be, or to satiate a kind of hunger people have to see more, when the hunger they have to see more is what a movie supposed to leave you with. Meaning that you’re supposed to love the characters and that just like a good meal, there is such a thing as too much. Just because it tastes good, if I keep filling your plate, at some point you’re going to be like that guy in the restaurant in the Monty Python movie. There’s just a limit.”
Mainly, he is suggesting beyond the headlines of Jackman’s return that would lead to debates with fandom online and Hugh’s big paycheck, what would the actual point be of doing it? Giving the impression they left on a high-note, so why mess with that simply for the fan service and money?
Fans are going to be in denial until Marvel Studios ultimately casts a new actor as Wolverine as many of them have ignored previous statements made by Jackman over the years about retiring from the role.
Hugh has stated multiple times as a reason why he’s is done with playing Wolverine is that Logan felt like the best film they could have made. His most recent comments to The Daily Beast would reaffirm that he’s done with the role and is excited to see another actor step in as the fan-favorite mutant.
JACKMAN: “Totally. Honestly, Marlow, if seven years ago that had happened I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah!’ but I knew it was the right time for me to leave the party—not just for me, but for the character. Somebody else will pick it up and run with it. It’s too good of a character not to. It’s kind of like, you’re on your way home and your friend rings you and goes, ‘Oh, dude, a new DJ just came on and the music is awesome, are you going to come back? And you say, Sounds good but… no’. They’re fine with someone else.”
It’s worth noting that the Fox/Singerverse version of the X-Men are not comic book accurate which is mainly why it makes sense that the studio simply reboot the X-Men to their version (something they’ve telegraphed last year), hence the recastings of the roles with new actors playing more comic book accurate versions of these characters.
Keeping Jackman in the franchise while scrapping every other actor in the X-Men main franchise isn’t fair to the rest of those actors and also not fair to fans looking for a fresh take on the mutant superhero team. For whatever reason, there is a good chunk of fandom that believes Hugh should play this role for the next 10-20 years, which sounds extremely selfish on their part and ignoring that Hugh is a real person that is allowed to move on with his acting choices.
At one point, Mangold had been developing a sequel/spinoff to Logan featuring Dafne Keen ‘s Laura aka X-23. However, because of the merger between 21 Century Fox/Disney the rights to the X-Men properties moves from 20th Century to Marvel Studios, essentially throwing a bulk of the projects in development into limbo.
The Playlist was able to speak with James last year about the would-be Laura film that he’s still interested in making it.
MANGOLD: “Yes. Do I have still have an interest? Yes.
Will it happen? At least in the near future, I doubt it.”
Mangold is extremely busy at the moment as he was about to begin directing Harrison Ford in the yet-to-be-titled Indiana Jones 5 for Lucasfilm and is said to be looking at Matt Damon for a lead role in his cop drama The Force based on the novel by Don Winslow.
Do you think it’s time for people to get over the fact that Hugh Jackman has moved on from the Wolverine role? Who do you think should be the next Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?