Hugh Jackman is the star of the X-Men franchise and because of it, he holds the world record for most superhero film appearances. Thanks to his cameo in X-Men: First Class, this summer's The Wolverine represents his sixth time playing the deadly and hot tempered, but always loyal mutant hero.
Jackman's service doesn't end there however, and the actor is maintaining his grueling diet and workout regiment, jumping straight into the next franchise installment with a key role in Bryan Singer's multi-team-up, X-Men: Days of Future Past. With The Wolverine dealing with the theme of immortality and Days of Future Past exploring alternate realities and time-travel, could we see elements of the 'Old Man Logan' story arc from Marvel Comics?
The Old Man Logan story takes place over eight issues (#66-72) of the self-titled Wolverine ongoing series and was written in 2008. It takes place many decades into the future where supervillains have conquered North America, with notable characters like Kingpin, Red Skull and evil Hulk reigning over different segments of the U.S.. Wolverine's lost most of his friends and blames himself, not unlike where we find the character at the beginning of The Wolverine.
Knowing The Wolverine takes place a while after the X-Men trilogy and having hints of what lays ahead for the series, I asked Hugh just how far into the future The Wolverine takes place and whether or not fans may see elements of, or an adaptation of Old Man Logan. After getting permission from the publicists, Jackman explained:
"A few years, not that far. So, it's not that long after X-Men 3 finishes, long enough so that you see him—and you've probably seen the pictures of me with a really long ass beard and the long hair. Right. So, obviously long enough for that, and long enough to feel that he's settled into this kind of rut that he's in. Essentially, he's doing his best to stop himself from inflicting more damage and pain on everyone around him. I didn't answer the second part about the older. I think that would be fascinating, and I think that I can't really answer that question because you're onto something."
It should be noted that this interview took place before casting announcements had been made for X-Men: Days of Future Past. At the time, Hugh told me he wasn't sure about whether or not he was involved with the next X-film, although we learned recently that Matthew Vaughn had actually sold him on the idea before I met him, meaning he knew he'd be back. From his hint that I was "onto something," we may see an older version of Logan in The Wolverine or in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Our Game Rant readers may be quick to point towards the X-Men Origins: Wolverine tie-in video game, a rare genre title that proved to be not only be a good game, but one with a better story than the film. The story is told via flashbacks narrated from a dark future where an older - and much more violent - Wolverine battles anti-mutant soldiers and it's something we'd love to see explored in live-action, new costume and hairstyle included.
Marvel Comics readers on the other hand, may also point out that in the Ultimate X-Men, a source of inspiration for many elements of Fox and Marvel Studios' movie adaptations, the time-travelling mutant known as Cable was actually an aged, grizzled and partly de-powered version of The Wolverine. Wouldn't that be a neat way to keep Jackman involved with the franchise for the long haul, while giving him something entirely new to do. I don't have to explain how that could link to Deadpool. But this is all speculation piled on speculation.
The Wolverine is directed by James Mangold off of Mark Bomback and Christopher McQuarrie’s screenplay. It stars Hugh Jackman, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Rila Fukushima.
Stay tuned for our full interview with Hugh Jackman and set reports.
The Wolverine hits theaters July 26, 2013. X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18th, 2014.
Old Man Logan art by Steve McNiven.
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