Hugh Jackman's tenure as Wolverine, the most popular of the X-Men, is coming to an end. While joking for months that he'd play the Adamantium-laced mutant superhero until the day he dies, the Aussie star changed his tune in March 2015 when announcing that he'd play the character only "one last time."
For his final appearance, Jackman re-teams with The Wolverine director James Mangold for the untitled Wolverine 3 which Jackman had teased initially would shoot back-to-back with X-Men: Apocalypse. That didn't quite pan out, and while there are rumors Jackman could make some sort of appearance in Apocalypse and Ryan Reynolds was hoping to have the actor show up in Deadpool, we know at least for certain that Wolverine 3 begins shooting in the near future.
Speaking with Collider while promoting Eddie the Eagle at Sundance, Jackman provided an update on the status of Wolverine 3 which is still currently scheduled for theatrical release just over a year from now.
"We have a script. A full script. To tell you, two days ago I got that the full finished—well, it’s not finished, but we’re getting super close—as you can see by the rate of my facial hair. That might give you a good clue that perhaps… yeah, it's sooner rather than later."
As for when the next Wolverine adventure will begin shooting, it needs to be within the next month or two in order to meet Fox's March 2017 date. Interestingly enough, the studio's other upcoming solo character movie Gambit in development, is also set to begin production this March which could see it trade for Wolverine 3's 2017 date or take Fantastic Four 2's old summer 2017 date depending on which shoots first.
"I don’t have a firm date yet. My thing and I’ve told you and I’ve told everyone, it’s my last one, for me I want it to be perfect, so the moment I know it’s perfect, bang, we’ll go."
With Fantastic Four 2 having been removed from Fox's release slate entirely and Gambit having been delayed (it was initially planned to start shooting months ago), expect near future announcements that'll not only give Gambit its 2017 date, but potentially move Wolverine 3 around. The latter seems more likely than ever given Jackman's stance about taking the time to ensure his final outing as Logan is perfect. We'll find out in a few months more as casting announcements (in addition to Patrick Stewart who we know will have a major role) are made and as we learn whether or not the star will appear in Deadpool and/or X-Men: Apocalypse.
Deadpool opens in theaters February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and an unannounced X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.