Logan and X-Men movie producer Hutch Parker says he’s hesitant about the idea of casting another actor to take the place of Hugh Jackman in any future X-Men projects as Wolverine. It’s been an eventful past few months for Jackman, whose ninth and final turn as the famed Marvel mutant on the big screen was met with raves from critics and fans, as well as blockbuster returns at the box office.
Released in March, Logan has earned more than $225.6 million domestically and another $381.4 million overseas for a whopping global take of $681 million – an extraordinary feat for an R-rated movie. Giving even greater depth to the film, Jackman and Logan director James Mangold even reteamed for a special Logan Noir event (where a black and white version of the film was screened in theaters nationwide), and participated in a Q&A about the film for fans who caught the monochrome version.
Just ahead of the film’s release on Blu-ray next week, questions are being raised once again about when, if ever, the role of Wolverine will be recast for future X-Men projects. But in an interview with Screen Rant this week, Parker says recasting the role made legendary by Jackman is an idea he doesn’t even want to think about yet – especially since the filmmakers are starting to explore other X-Men characters. Parker says:
“I think for the moment our focus really is on other characters. I think there’s a part for all of us that feels like Logan, as played by Hugh, is the definitive performance of that character. And I think we’re all a little hesitant at the idea of rebooting it in any way. So, for the moment we’re going to look at – there’s so much else explore in the [X-Men] Universe and to play with. Particularly now as we’ve seen such bold tonal choices being made, I think that opens up the landscape as well, to seeing other genres living kind of fully within the comic book genre. And you saw that with Guardians of the Galaxy, I believe [it] is an exceptional example of that. Obviously Deadpool and Logan now, but I think there’ll be more to come.”
For the sake of argument, if producers did want to fit Wolverine into any projects in the immediate future, the opportunities for the character are certainly there. The films X-Men: Dark Phoenix (where Michael Fassbender will likely return as Magneto) and New Mutants are in the works, and the X-Men series The Gifted is slated to premiere on Fox in September.
The obvious argument for not including Wolverine in any of the new projects, though, boils down to simply question: Why? A recasting of Wolverine so soon would only invite comparisons (a recasting will probably invite comparisons for decades, a la James Bond), and any ensuing arguments over whoever landed the role would be nothing but a distraction that would take away from Jackman’s legacy as the character.
Will Parker or another X-Men producer have to confront the idea of recasting Wolverine again at some point? In all likelihood, yes. But Jackman, like Sean Connery as 007, will always be the gold standard. Besides, any future arguments over “the best” should be welcome. It’s that sort of passion for the material that keeps characters like Bond and Wolverine so alive to begin with.