Thanks to the advice of Dougray Scott during the shooting of the first X-Men film, Hugh Jackman says he’s prepared to pass the role of Wolverine to another actor. 2000’s X-Men has long been regarded as the catalyst for the modern era of superhero movies. Mixing the fantastical with the grounded, the film laid the template for a number of future comic book adaptations. It also managed to blend exciting action, good performances, and social issues into an entertaining film.
The X-Men franchise has ebbed and flowed since then, but it’s managed to succeed where few other superhero franchises have. It’s also led to a number of successful spinoff films and launched many a career – chief among them, Jackman. Since he first popped his claws as Wolverine, he’s become a Hollywood A-lister; and with Logan, he helped bring more prestige to the superhero genre. Although Jackman is now stepping away from the role of Wolverine, the character is simply too big to vanish from the big screen altogether.
THR spoke with Jackman about the future of Wolverine in the X-Men universe and the idea of the role being recast inevitably came up. For the actor, he’s not only sure the role will be played by another actor, but he’s hopeful about the prospect. Jackman’s comfort with the idea actually comes from Scott, the man who was set to play Wolverine before Jackman signed on:
“I met him early on and I said to him, ‘Man, I am sorry.’ And he said, ‘It’s just business, but you have just gotten one of the greatest roles out there, so go crush it.’ I just remember being so impressed by that and his class, and hopefully I am a big enough guy that when someone else takes over, I will do exactly what was done to me…and I feel glad to just be a part of the legacy of that character. I feel great parts — great characters out live the actors that play them. Bond, Superman, Batman…so, there you go.”
In another world, X-Men would have premiered with Scott in the lead role. Scheduling conflicts and a delayed production forced the movie to recast the role, when Scott couldn’t get away from production on Mission: Impossible II. Jackman was then brought in, and it’s difficult to imagine anyone playing the character like he did, for so many years. Of course, it’s good to hear that Scott’s advice has helped Jackman to realize that he won’t be the last to embody the iconic character.
From Spider-Man to The Doctor from Doctor Who, genre films and television are full of roles that live well beyond a single actor. Although Wolverine has only been played by one person on the big screen thus far, it’s only a matter of time before Fox recasts Logan. When they do, that actor will become the Wolverine for the next generation of the X-Men franchise, while Jackman will become the first who played the role – as he should be.
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