Fourteen years and seven movies in, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine remains the centerpiece of the massively popular live-action Marvel world. However, recent comments and interviews have had fans wondering if Jackman is ready to retire the role, and if maybe that would be a good thing.
In an interview with IGN, Jackman talked about the “inevitable” re-casting of the role
Look, that’s inevitable, man. Anyone who thinks they’re indispensable in this business is fooling themselves. But I feel unbelievably blessed to have this part….. I think that’s why I’m still here. I’m sure by the way, that it won’t always be my decision to always be here. At some point, someone will close the door on me…
He has also stated that he is “99% certain” that he will soon be leaving the franchise, although this is a comment that he has since retracted.
With the expansion of the Marvel movies to include many lesser-known teams and characters ( [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), [Ant-Man](movie:9048)) there are some fans who think that if and when Jackman leaves, the character should go with him, leaving room for other X-Men to come to the forefront. I, on the other hand, think that Wolverine (re-cast or not) should always be a major part of the live-action Marvelverse.
Despite being not quite the first mutant, James “Logan” Howlett is definitely one of the oldest, and his history crosses over with almost every other major Marvel storyline. For me, one of the most exciting things about the sheer number of new movies being produced is the possibility of crossovers, and Wolverine can be involved in almost any of them! Jackman himself has talked about how much he would love to expand the role.
Because the optimist in me goes 'why not? Why can't we do it? You know, a split cast or whatever?' And someone reminded that the amount of money Fox paid compared to the amount of money Disney paid is very different [laughs]. So how you split that pie up? God knows. But in the comic books, what's great about it is they're just mashing together all the time - and it's awesome.
Number one on my list is the Avengers! Not only has Wolverine fought with and against them, but he has some serious history with the Hulk and Captain America, not to mention his training of Natasha Romanov! Now there is a movie that I think everyone would love to see – the Black Widow origin story. Give me a female-centered Marvel movie, Scarlett Johansson AND Wolverine and I will be ecstatic!
With the Winter Soldier, the introduction of Bucky leaves us wide open to a Cap/Logan cross, and honestly, I am still frustrated that Wolverine didn’t pop up with a cameo in Captain America: The First Avenger. I would also have loved to see him in the reboot of Spider-Man, given his time working with Richard and Mary Parker.
Admittedly, many of these possibilities have already passed us by, but that is one of the wonderful things about a comic book universe –alternate timelines and realities can always be introduced (Helloooo Days of Future Past), and that gives us endless possibilities.
I think that much of the Wolverine-fatigue is comparable to my own issues with Rogue; the problem is not with the characters, but with errors in backstory and writing. Wolverine: Origins was an absolute catastrophe, and I feel that this is a large contributor to the backlash. Fans don’t want to see a warped version of our heroes, we want as much continuity with the comics as possible. Thankfully, with Days of Future Past re-setting the timeline, this can finally happen! Origins can be written off as an alternate reality, and Logan’s true past can be revealed, if the studios choose for that to happen.
Some may say that [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) should be Wolverine’s last hurrah, but I think that we are just getting started with where this incredible character can go. I cannot wait to see him battle Sabretooth to become the Horseman Death, and my mind runneth over with all the future possibilities.
Wolverine has always been a mainstay of the Marvel universe, and with good reason. Now that we have something of a blank slate for X-Men, we can finally be reminded of why he is (or should be) everyone’s favorite Amazing Immortal Man.
But what do you think? Should Wolverine be taken to that farm up-state, or given the space to keep going? Write in with your thoughts in the comments below!