It's no secret that neither comic book films nor the career of Hugh Jackman would've gotten as far as they have today without Bryan Singer's 2000 smash hit X-Men. The then-unknown Jackman went from his big break working on the National Theatre’s 1998 production of Oklahoma! to replace Dougray Scott in the role, and history was made.
Wolverine (Logan) has always been a fan favourite amongst comic book fans and moviegoers alike; he's the only X-Men character to be included in every adaptation of the Marvel franchise, not to mention his solo video games and comics books.
Jackman's portrayal of Wolverine received widespread acclaim and love from fans, and he's become emblematic of the franchise as he's appeared as the pointy fisted mutant in every movie in the X-Men series thus far, including his uncredited cameo in 2011's [X-Men: First Class](tag:3567490).
He even replaced Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) as the main protagonist in the Days of Future Past adaptation (in the original comic arc it's Kitty who goes back in time, not Wolverine), that's how important he is to the series.
So it was with a very heavy heart that we received the news back in July that Jackman was hanging up his adamantium claws and saying goodbye to the X-Men franchise and the character that made him a household name.
"This next time is going to be my last time for putting on the claws. One last time. In this movie that we are going to make, it’s going to be directed by Jim Mangold, the great Jim Mangold. … And I can tell you, the people who are in this room, the fans, in this room, it’s going to be the best one yet for you guys."
Old Man Logan/Wolverine Sequel
The Jim Mangold film in question? The third and final piece of the Wolverine trilogy set to be released 3rd March 2017, currently named only as Untitled Wolverine Sequel. Jackman is the only person we know for sure is going to be featuring, though there are rumours that Patrick Stewart will reprise his role as Charles Xavier (Professor X) in the film.
At Comic Con Jackman dropped a hint about the acclaimed Old Man Logan arc of the Wolverine comic; though it was perhaps a tongue in cheek reference to his age (Jackman will be nearly 50 by the time the third film releases) this has kick started rumours that his final film will draw from this narrative arc, which would be pretty great if they can make a faithful adaptation.
However Old Man Logan features a ton of characters that aren't licensed to 20th Century Fox, most notably Hawkeye (Clint Barton) who appears as a secondary protagonist in the comic book and Hulk (Bruce Banner) who serves as one of many antagonists. Mark Millar has explained how they could get around that though, so there's till hope (though I don't know if it'd be the same without Hawkeye).
Old Man Logan also deals with much darker material that we've seen before, and the final reveal is both heartbreaking and dependant on certain Marvel characters being there so I'm not sure how well it would work as a film adaptation. There's been no official confirmation from the studio as to which, if any, of the comics it'll draw from as of yet, so we'll just have to wait and see how it pans out.
And X-Men: Apocalypse?
The most recent exciting rumour to come out is that we will actually be seeing Hugh Jackman in the upcoming [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267), which was set to be the first X-Men film that didn't feature Wolverine.
Whilst it makes sense to have Wolverine appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse, his modern-day narrative arc was pretty well tied up at the conclusion of the last film: [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942). If he was a main character we'd surely know about it by now, so it's likely that if he does appear it'll be a cameo in the vein of X-Men: First Class.
Now that his time with the X-Men is all tied up the final solo film will presumably do the same for his backstory, and if the franchise does intend to continue moving forward without Jackman it's probably time to put his character to rest and move onto exploring and developing the wealth of other popular characters in the X-Men team. It's a big Marvel universe out there folks.