And with this one little post the whole interweb was lit afire. Yes, it was later explained that this was in reference to Wolverine 3, which we can surmise as meaning Hugh Jackman will roll right into the Wolverine sequel after making appearances in [Deadpool](movie:38663), the Gambit spin-off, and wrapping [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267). Whoa! That's a lot of snikt!
And I can understand where HJ may be coming from. Yes Logan a.k.a. James Howlett has been a career transforming and defining role, but after possibly 11 films, and what will be 17 years (that's right you read that correctly) of donning the claws, enough may just be enough.
But that still leaves the larger question, the wolverine in the room if you will...
What does FOX do without the face of their X-MEN franchise?
Let's take a look at a few potential options.
They could totally recast the character. Crazy I know. It begs the question though, just how do you recast a widely loved character that is identified with one actor? Yeah, RDJ. I'm looking at you. Clearly there will be a lot of teeth gnashing and angst amongst the fandom (see the Spider-Man casting conundrums). But recasting can reinvigorate the character and the franchise it's attached to. Don't believe me? I have one name for you. BOND. James Bond.
So, if FOX decides to go this route, there are plenty of candidates in line to step into the role. Some of the names that have been bandied about by fans are:
TOM HARDY, KARL URBAN, LUKE EVANS.
My casting suggestion: JON BERNTHAL (Shane) of THE WALKING DEAD fame.
With his role as Rick's second in command, Bernthal displayed a seething, ferocity that was barely concealed and restrained as Shane. I believe he could easily bring the brutish physicality and attitude that is key to Wolverine.Bonus points for the non-pretty boy factor too.
Another possibility is to re-imagine the character. We've seen recently how Marvel has reimagined certain characters in the name of creativity (umm to generate buzz), i.e. female Thor. For FOX, this option isn't as controversial as it is canonical. The best way to move on from Wolverine may be to replace him with a son or "daughter" or both.
Created and introduced on the animated series X-MEN: EVOLUTION, and then debuting in the comic book NYX in 2004, Laura Kinney has become an integral member of the X-Men family and teams, and a vastly popular fan favorite.
A clone of Wolverine, from a damaged genome, X-23 possesses all the same regenerative powers, strength, and abilities, as well as adamantium laced bone claws in her hands and feet. She is a near perfect copy, only in the form of a teenage girl. oh the cinematic possibilities.
Summer Glau would have been the perfect candidate to portray this feisty female-Wolverine ten years ago, her stellar performance in FIREFLY/SERENITY still amazes me, but alas time waits for no man or woman. If FOX wanted to go this route I'm sure there are a bevy of young starlets that would be more than willing to strap on the claws. Calling Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Emily Browning.
Wolverine's biological son, Akihiro a.k.a. Daken, would be another logical way to go. With a power set inherited from his father, Daken was introduced in the comic WOLVERINE ORIGINS #10, as a dark and twisted vision of Logan. He has become a fan-fav and consistent member of the Dark Avengers, Dark X-men and The Brotherhood of Mutants.
Admittedly more difficult to fit into the role of "hero," Daken could provide counterpoint to the cinematic journey of Wolverine. Anti-Hero? Thematically, he could be that character that embodies the conflict of Xavier-Magneto philosophies. Or as Daken himself said,
"(I) always did like playing for both teams."
Innuendo aside, using Daken as a possible replacement, or more fittingly, an antagonist to his "sister" might be a viable option. Oh, like Sabertooth 2.0
Fox could shift the focus of the franchise away from the X-Men and instead push their spin-off vehicles to the forefront.
If Deadpool can continue to build on it's rabid fanbase and find a way to crack into the mainstream superhero movie consumer's awareness, they may just have a character with the chops to fill in for Wolverine.
Turning to the proposed [Gambit](movie:612399) spin-off, starring Channing Tatum, this may be an even more tenable option. Why not make the Ragin' Cajun the new face of the X-Men franchise? Remy Lebeau is without doubt a fan favorite, and would perfectly fit in with the new look X-men post X-Men: Apocalypse. Not to mention the pretty-boy factor!
One final option:
If you liked Where the SNIKT Does FOX/X-men Turn Without WOLVERINE? you may enjoy reading: Is There A Place for PLASTIC MAN In the DCCU?