A little over a year ago we heard the news that Hugh Jackman would be producing and starring in a film called Avon Man, a comedy that tells the story of a laid-off car salesman who reluctantly becomes an Avon (cosmetic product) salesman. I know what you're thinking, but Jackman has a lot of charisma and I imagine the film is a lot funnier than it sounds.
However, the only real interest I had in Avon Man was Jackman starring in it, because it seems like a role he could carry with his charm and presence. Well, sadly that's no longer than case as Deadline is reporting that Jackman has dropped out of Avon Man and will instead concentrate on getting into shape for Wolverine 2 later this year.
Although no official announcement has been made by either Jackman or his reps stating that he's dropped Avon Man for Wolverine 2, Deadline's report notes that Jackman will spend late Fall getting into the best shape he can to reprise his iconic role as Wolverine in the sequel to the 2009 origin story. The sequel - as hinted at in one of the multiple Wolverine end-credits scenes - will see Wolverine in Japan, getting mixed up with samurais (as you do). Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) was hired a few months ago to write the script and last we heard Matt Reeves and Tony Scott were on the shortlist to direct.
If you're one of those people who was looking forward to Jackman's portrayal as a cosmetic salesman, rather than seeing more of his angry gruff-growling mutant (there's got to be some of you out there :-P ), then you can take some consolation in the fact that he'll still be producing Avon Man. The Allen Loeb-scripted comedy now sits without a leading man but I'm sure since Jackman was in the role at one point they'll find someone similarly charismatic to replace him (hopefully, anyway).
Despite setting himself up to train for Wolverine 2, Jackman could shoot Selma next Spring now that its financing is getting sorted out. The Lee Daniels (Precious) Civil Rights film will see Jackman play a sheriff who arrests Martin Luther King Jr. In preparation, Jackman gained some 30 pounds for the role but when Selma's financing faltered and shooting was delayed, Jackman lost the weight in order to film the sci-fi drama Real Steel.
I won't lie and say I was dying to see Jackman in Avon Man. Nevertheless, I thought it was an interesting choice for the actor. It's not as if Wolverine 2 wouldn't have happened if Jackman had filmed Avon Man first, now is it?
Currently Avon Man is trying to keep its October production start date, so the studio is out searching for a new leading man. The film doesn't have a release date as of yet.
Since Jackman is getting himself ready to play Wolverine again, it suggests that Fox wants to get things going on Wolverine 2 soon. Expect an announcement in the coming months.