After 17 years as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman is supposedly retiring his claws and mutton chops once and for all after Logan is released. However, rumors still persist that Jackman may reprise the role at some stage. After all, no other actor has consistently portrayed a #superhero in this many films before, making it impossible to imagine anyone else as Logan.
While promoting Wolverine's swan song, actor Boyd Holbrook talked with us exclusively about his role as Donald Pierce and Jackman's future with the franchise. When asked whether #Logan really will be Hugh's last film as #Wolverine, Holbrook revealed that:
“When [people] see the film, it’ll put to rest a lot of those comments. Hugh’s done this for a long time and everything should have an ending, so I think this will be his last round.”
Pretty definitive answer, right? Well, what's most interesting about this response is how Holbrook discusses the need for an ending, suggesting that it'll be clear by the film's finale why Jackman is retiring the character once and for all. Maybe we're reading too much into this, but that sure does sound like the Ol' Canucklehead may not live to see X-23 grow up, and there's already a number of clues that seemingly confirm Wolverine's demise.
Logan's Healing Factor Is Weaker
While Logan's adamantium-laced skeleton may survive long after his death, what's really kept him alive for so many decades is his mutant healing factor, which has brought the hero back from the brink of death multiple times in the #XMen franchise.
However, script pages released by the official Logan campaign revealed early on that this isn't the invincible Wolverine who we've come to know over the years:
"As for our hero, well, he's older now and it's clear that his abilities are no longer what they once were. He's fading on the inside and his diminished healing factor keeps him in a constant state of chronic pain — hence booze as a painkiller."
Previous X-Men films made it clear that Wolverine is almost impossible to kill, but now that his healing factor has weakened, all bets are off.
No One Can Replace Hugh Jackman...
While #superheroes like Batman and Superman have been played by a variety of actors over the years, the vast majority of fans would agree that #HughJackman embodies the character of Wolverine body and soul, making it impossible to even consider the idea of someone else tackling that role.
Rather than replace Hugh Jackman later down the line, it makes far more sense to kill the character and give Logan's story the fitting end that it deserves. This would be the only way to create true closure without leaving fans wondering whether Jackman may change his mind and reprise the role in a few years time.
Sure, Wolverine's death could somehow be reversed due to the mechanics of time travel, or Jackman could even return briefly in some kind of flashback, but such a move would cheapen the impact of his probable death in Logan. Fortunately, Jackman's clear respect and admiration for this role makes such a move unlikely.
But Maybe They Can Replace Wolverine?
Is it a coincidence that Logan's last film introduces X-23, a female clone who adopts Wolverine's mantle in the comics? The father/daughter style relationship shared between Logan and Laura is clearly the heart of the film, so we wouldn't be surprised if Wolverine ultimately sacrifices himself to save her and the future of mutant kind.
During an interview with We Got This Covered, director James Mangold revealed that Dafne Keen's character could have a long future in the X-Men franchise:
“I would love to see an X-23 film and that is something I would definitely be involved with.”
By replacing Logan with X-23, Fox will be able to avoid recasting Wolverine and yet still stay faithful to the original source material. It's the perfect compromise, making sense both logistically and thematically.
Wolverine Died In The Comics
James Mangold may be taking some liberties with the source material, but we've known for some time now that the final Wolverine film is based at least in part on the comic book story Old Man Logan. While the Ol' Canucklehead does survive this particular story arc, there is precedence for Wolverine's death in the comics.
Back in 2014, #Marvel released the rather subtly titled comic Death of Wolverine, where Logan's healing factor is weakened by a virus. Clearly, there are some obvious parallels between this divisive story and the plot of Logan, so it's entirely possible that Mangold may have adapted more elements from this comic, including the actual death of Wolverine.
This is the point where X-23 took over as Wolverine in the source material, so everything is lining up to suggest that Logan will definitively be Hugh Jackman's last round as Wolverine.
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While there's still a chance that Hugh Jackman may return to the role of Wolverine in small cameos, Holbrook suggests later in the interview that this will almost certainly be the last we see of him in action:
"It’s kind of like the Batman thing. Christian [Bale] and [Christopher] Nolan were very adamant at going out and saying 'This is our last hurrah, promises, promises!' I think going out in a bang is the best way to go out.”
Discover the final fate of Wolverine when Logan hits cinemas on March 2.
Will Wolverine die in Logan?
(Source: We Got This Covered)
[Poll Image Credit: 20th Century Fox]