When it comes to Fox's much-loved X-Men movie franchise, one character has very much risen above the rest, and taken on iconic status within the cinematic superhero pantheon. For fans of the comics, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Storm may have an equally legendary status, but when it comes to the movies, there's little doubt that one hero is the focus of all attention: Wolverine.
He is, after all, the only X-Man to get his own spin-off movie (two if you count the X-Men Origins-that-shall-not-be-named), much as Hugh Jackman is the only actor to appear in every single installment of the series so far.
From the sounds of a recent interview with Matthew Vaughn - director of X-Men: First Class - though, it sounds as though...
We Almost Didn't See Hugh Jackman Play Wolverine in the Last X-Men Movie
Which, intriguingly, he originally suggested should not be Days of Future Past...
As he told MTV:
"I had a whole different idea of how X-Men should go...I thought Days of Future Past should be the next one and be set in the '80s. So, when I wrote the treatment, I then wrote Kingsman and got confused about which film I should direct next. The I said to Fox, 'Let me do Kingsman now, get somebody else in and we'll do the '70s version, recast Wolverine, and then we do Days of Future Past with the new Wolverine AND Hugh, and make it the biggest spectacle we've ever seen."
So, just to clarify, Vaughn originally suggested to Fox that:
- The follow-up to First Class shouldn't be Days of Future Past.
- Wolverine should be re-cast with another (presumably younger) actor.
- The two Wolverines should subsequently team-up.
- That X-Men; Apocalypse shouldn't happen. After all, had Days of Future Past been set in the '80s, and coming up next, it'd most likely have replaced Apocalypse entirely.
So, We Almost Saw TWO Wolverines in One Movie?
Well, it sure sounds like it - though, from Vaughn's follow up comments, it seems that Fox pretty quickly dismissed his ideas:
"Fox - quite rightly so, they've got a bottom line to look after - went no, we're doing it, and Bryan, it's Bryan's franchise, and I think he proved it's his by knocking it out of the park."
Which - though watching two Wolverine's on screen would have been awesome - might well be a good thing.
There's a Crucial Problem With Vaughn's Plan
Now, putting aside the fact that we've already seen Wolverine look exactly like Hugh Jackman in the past - we know he's looked like that since the 19th century, and certainly - even if you write off X-Men Origins: Wolverine - since the second world war - there's one crucial problem with the re-casting plan...
Hugh Jackman was in X-Men: First Class.
Which means, had Wolverine been re-cast between X-Men: First Class and that alternate version of Days of Future Past, it would have been massively confusing for everyone involved.
Wolverine'll have to be re-cast one day - though I'd be surprised if Hugh Jackman steps down from his most fan-beloved part all that soon - but when he is, it'll either have to be as someone of a similar age to Hugh Jackman, or be as part of a 19th century-set prequel adventure with a young Logan.
Y'know, that, or they'll just reboot the whole damn thing again. In the mean-time, though, I'm willing to sacrifice the awesomeness of seeing two Wolverine's on screen for the consistency of Hugh Jackman playing the character every time.