Fans have been impatiently waiting since 2013's The Wolverine for a third solo film featuring the adamantium-clawed X-man. Though Wolverine 3 is finally on the horizon, set for a March 2017 release, we don't yet know a lot about what will supposedly be actor Hugh Jackman's final outing as one of the most popular mutants.
We do finally know that, likely banking on the success of Deadpool, the end of the trilogy will be an R-rated film. It will take place in the future, possibly picking up the altered timeline from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Writer/producer Simon Kinberg has said that Wolverine 3 will be "bold," "violent," and "like a Western" in its tone. We now also have additional confirmation for one of Jackman's expected costars.
In an interview with Collider, X-Men: Apocalypse producer Hutch Parker fielded questions about his own involvement in Logan's solo film, as well as the appearance of Professor X, saying: "I am [involved in Wolverine 3], in fact I'm on loan from them right now... I will confirm that Patrick Stewart is part of the film."
This is something that Stewart himself seemed sure of last year, when he expressed excitement about the "in development" Wolverine movie and his chance to play a "very different" Charles Xavier. We've already seen the professor in a variety of crises, both as a young man fearful of his powers and as a wise, confident leader. Jackman has said that this time he's hoping to see more of the father/son dynamic between his character and Stewart's - that mentoring relationship that's been hinted at but not fully explored on screen yet.
Kinberg has promised a unique spin on Logan as well, which could follow from the "new direction" the character takes in the 1980s action of this month's X-Men: Apocalypse. As Parker explains, after six X-Men films, two Wolverine outings, and Deadpool, there's obvious pressure to keep things fresh for fans.
"I'm not going to tease much, we're really trying to do something -- look you asked your earlier question, it's the right one, which is 'How do you follow these movies up?' And [director] Jim Mangold and Hugh were really intent on trying to do something unique and different with this. That's what we're setting out to do. I'm not going to tip how, but I'm hoping that you guys will really love it, I think it's really, really special."
Those who love Wolverine just the way he is in the X-Men movieverse might be apprehensive about all these supposed changes. Some fans of the comic book hero have long lamented the mutant's relative de-clawing for the PG-13 realm, however, and are welcoming a chance to see the potentially uncensored, aggressive, wild Wolverine they've always wanted. If this is truly Jackman's last appearance as Logan, it's especially important that the filmmakers find the right balance between the new and old versions of the character, and make Wolverine 3 as "special" as they've promised.
X-Men: Apocalypse will open in U.S. theaters on May 27th, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017 and unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.