Now, when the news broke a few weeks back that Hugh Jackman was planning on hanging up his claws, and retiring as Wolverine, there was widespread wailing, weeping and gnashing of teeth among X-Fans everywhere. After all, Jackman has - perhaps more than any other actor - fundamentally defined his character in the hearts and minds of audiences. Sure, Robert Downey Jr. comes close with his already iconic Tony Stark - but Hugh's been at it for nearly a decade longer, and arguably had a whole lot less to work with.
Jackman being replaced, then, would not only be a sad day for us fans - it'd mark the end of an era: one in part defined by his alternately modernizing and dutifully faithful take on one of Marvel's most beloved characters.
What, though, if it was also...
A New Beginning?
After all, the cinematic X-Men universe Jackman would be leaving is a very different one from the one he stepped into back in 2000. Rather than a fledgling attempt at a superhero team-up movie in an industry unsure if it even wanted one, the next X-Men film, Apocalypse, will hit a marketplace heavily saturated with exactly the sort of thing it was doubted for being fifteen years ago.
More than that, though, we're also now entering an era of multiple-medium character crossovers - and of the new frontier of superhero themed television.
So, for all that a newly cast Wolverine might find himself in a Deadpool sequel, an X-Force feature, or a Gambit solo movie, he might just as easily find himself periodically crossing over from one medium to another.
Could We See Wolverine on Television?
Specifically, in the new X-Men live-action series that Fox sounds increasingly serious about bringing to TV...
After all, any newly cast Wolverine may well be a lesser known actor - with few famous faces likely to have the ability (or the willingness) to take on such an iconic role - and that'd mean Fox would have the option to tie them down to not only a lengthy multi-picture deal, but one that incorporated several TV appearances, too.
So, if, for instance, Fox does end up making a series on the X-Men's younger students, The New Mutants - as has been long rumored - we could well see Wolverine make an appearance (or seven) whenever the ratings need a boost.
After all, who wouldn't want to see this on TV?
Plus, seeing as though the vast majority of the original X-Men movies cast would likely also be amenable to television cameos - or even leading roles - that could be seriously good news for a prospective series.
Professor Xavier and Kitty Pryde (a returning Patrick Stewart and Ellen Page) train a younger generation of X-Men, anyone?
Someone get the petition started...(and, while you're at it, maybe start one to persuade Hugh Jackman not to leave, too?)...