The Walking Dead's Tom Payne is up for replacing Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Jackman first played Wolverine in the original X-Men in 2000 - and counting uncredited cameos, he went on to play the role a further eight times. Aware that he could only play the immortal character for so long, Jackman wanted to make sure he went out on a strong note. To that end, 2017's Logan was a big success. The R-rated movie was a more somber, darker take on the character, stripping away the glossier trappings of the genre and depicting a slowly aging Logan in a world where most of the mutants - including the X-Men - have died off.
Logan received near-universal praise for its more adult take on the franchise and even received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay – a rarity for any comic book movie. Now Jackman has hung up his claws and mutton chops for good, there's been no end of speculation over who will inherit the role. Names like Tom Hardy and Scott Eastwood have been thrown around, but for now, no decisions have been made.
Now another actor has thrown his name into the ring, with Walking Dead star Tom Payne - who plays Jesus - telling TV Guide that he would love to take on the role. The actor also thinks he has an advantage over Jackman, who at 6 '1" is a good foot taller than Wolverine from the comic, while Payne is 5'7." The actor states "Wolverine is actually like 5'1", or 5'2" or something. And Hugh, he was brilliant, but he was much, much, much bigger. If they did recast the Wolverine part, I'd be well up for it."
It's entirely forgotten now, but one of the controversies surrounding Jackman's casting in X-Men was that he was much too tall. Thankfully, the actor was so good that fans quickly overlooked this. Payne would definitely be an interesting choice for the role, but given the amount of love for Jackman's Wolverine, the studio will likely let the character rest for a few years before announcing his return. The X-Men franchise is currently focused on spinoffs for now, with Deadpool 2 and New Mutants taking the universe in different directions.
There also remains the outside possibility Jackman could un-retire and play the character at least one more time, as the result of the Fox/Disney merger. This deal will allow Disney to finally play with the X-Men and Fantastic Four, and Jackman has always said that he would love for his version of Wolverine to appear alongside The Avengers. Sebastian Stan recently indicated that Jackman is even having conversations with Marvel about that very thing. If true, this could be a somewhat risky move for the actor, since many consider Logan the perfect exit.
In all likelihood, Jackman will stick to his vow and end his Wolverine run with Logan - though if he did happen to break his word for an MCU appearance, fans would probably forgive him pretty quick.
Source: TV Guide
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