While excitement builds for the return of Wolverine in X-Men: Apocalypse, things are progressing on The Wolverine 3 as well. Though not much is known about the film, a cast is slowly starting to form. Narcos star Boyd Holbrook is set to play Wolverine's primary nemesis in the film, but recent casting news has it that Holbrook won't be alone in antagonizing Logan.
In fact, it seems that while Holbrook's character will likely take the deadly Canadian on in the physical front, another villain may work against the Wolverine in an altogether different way. Whoever that character is, it has been announced the role will be played by Richard E. Grant, who recently joined the cast.
According to THR, Grant's character is described as being a "villainous mad-scientist type." No other details were available, as such specifics about the film are largely being kept under wraps for now. Given previous teases that The Wolverine 3 might be based on 'Old Man Logan,' it's unclear as to who the character might be within that particular narrative.
Grant is more familiar to UK audiences than those in the U.S.; he has starred in several British television shows that are popular in the United States. Some of his more notable characters have been recurring roles in shows such as Doctor Who and Downton Abbey. More recently he has starred in Jekyll & Hyde and Dig, but he will also have a role in season 6 of Game of Thrones, so be sure to look for him there.
The addition of Grant as a mad scientist might suggest that another story from the comics is being blended with 'Old Man Logan' to create a new narrative. Patrick Stewart's Professor X could fit into the Hawkeye role of 'Old Man Logan,' and Holbrook's villain might take over for Red Skull. Unless Grant simply plays one of Holbrook's minions in what's already going to be a fairly loose adaptation, there's not much room for a scientist. Instead, we might see shades of another tale such as 2014's 'Death of Wolverine' added in, which would give Logan a reason to go after Grant's character and could even end Jackman's last appearance as Wolverine on a note of finality (though the movie will take place in the future, so it won't necessarily preclude more Wolverine appearances in the "modern" X-Men films).
Of course, this is all speculation and not based on any known plans of Fox. Mixing in the 'Death of Wolverine' or a similar tale could explain the rumored inclusion of X-23, as Doctor Abraham Cornelius (the scientist behind the Weapon X program in the comics) was attempting to replicate Logan's abilities along with the abilities of other superhumans in that comic arc. For the movie, Grant-as-Cornelius might go all the way and simply clone Wolverine instead. Then again, it's just as possible that Grant's character will take the place of one of the Marvel-controlled villains from 'Old Man Logan' instead.
X-Men: Apocalypse will see theatrical release in the U.S. on May 27, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.