We all loved Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but in 2017 he'll be retiring from the role with one last adventure in Wolverine 3. Little is known about this film, and no official title has been released. Fans are hopeful that it will depict the infamous comic mini-series Old Man Logan, but it seems unlikely. This story takes place in an alternate future with an older Logan living with his young family and hiding from the supervillains who have taken over the world after the fall of the superheroes.
The X-Men themselves were all killed by a singular person: Wolverine. When the villains came together to kill every hero, the Spider-Man villain Mysterio, who casts illusions, went to the X-Men alone and cast an illusion of hundreds of villains attacking at once. Wolverine, of course, brutally murdered them all but when the illusion dropped it was revealed he'd killed all of his team mates and young students.
Even though this is one of the fan favorite Wolverine stories, it's very unlikely we'll see this comic come to life. Not only are several of the needed character rights over at Marvel Studios such as Hawkeye, Red Skull, and the Hulk, but the storyline itself is much too dark for the X-Men universe. We can't have a film where Wolverine has killed off all of his friends, and definitely not so soon after Days of Future Past where he successfully went back in time to save all their lives! Having an Old Man Logan film would undo the happy ending of DOFP and no one wants that! We also can't rely on time travel to fix all of the X-Men's deaths every time, so unfortunately and even as a huge Wolverine fan, I hope that this story never plays out on film!
Other than what story will be depicted, there are many other questions on everyone's mind with Jackman retiring from Wolverine. Who will replace Jackman as Wolverine? Can he be re-cast? Should he even be? Jackman will finish with eight films under his belt (nine if he has a secret cameo in Deadpool or Apocalypse). No other actor has played a comic book character that many times! The reality is that no one can play Wolverine like Hugh Jackman, and no one should try! Let Wolverine end (at least for a while) with Jackman's retirement!
Instead of re-casting Logan/Wolverine, I'm pitching an additional character: Daken, Wolverine's son!
Wolverine was once living in Japan with his pregnant wife when one of his enemies slaughtered her, and ripped the unborn baby out of her body leaving them both for dead. However, the child, Daken, survived because of his inherited healing powers, but Wolverine had no idea what had happened to his son!
Daken was left on the steps of a Japanese couple by a good Samaritan, and they took him in as their own. He and his adopted father bonded, and he was legally named Akihira, after his father. However, he was crudely named "Daken" which meant "bastard dog" by the family's staff. As a young child he overheard his mother telling his father that she could not love Daken no matter how much she tried, and that she was now pregnant with their "real" child.
When their son was born, Daken took his revenge and killed the baby. His adopted mother came at him with a sword, and his bone claws were triggered for the first time by his emotional distress and he accidentally killed her. Daken spent the next few decades alone and became a hardened and evil criminal, often using aggression or sex to get anything he wanted.
One of his biggest story arcs in the comics is when he joined forces with Norman Osborn (Spider-Man's Green Goblin) as a member of his Dark Avengers, who were meant to impersonate the real Avengers. Daken's role was to pretend to be his father, Wolverine, and he jumped at the chance to destroy Wolverine's image. Now, without Avengers and Spider-Man character rights, this story would have to be tweaked, but how cool would it be to see a mutant terrorist group attempting to destroy the good name of the X-Men? Imagine a Dark X-Men team with villains similar to the X-Men heroes, mimicking their costumes and destroying their good name.
Patrick Stewart is set to return as Xavier in Wolverine 3, and maybe we'll finally get to see his dark side! He could send Wolverine on reconnaissance, or a dark ops mission, to "take care" of this team before they do too much damage to his public relations. Mutants like Mystique, Mimic, and Changeling could easily join this team with their powers of shapeshifting and mimicry. Emma Frost would be a great substitution for Jean Grey or Xavier himself as she can create any kind of illusion (I still refuse to believe she died off camera between First Class and Days of Future Past). Somewhere during his reconnaissance, Wolverine could realize that Daken is actually a son he didn't know he had! It would severely complicate his mission of assassination, and add a real human level to our favorite Canadian mutant!
Daken could have easily been born during the decades where Wolverine's memories are missing, and as such a complex and dark character he would be a great addition to Wolverine 3! I'd love to see Wolverine on a quest to find and redeem the son he didn't even know he had. If Wolverine is going to be retired, or possibly die, what better way for him to go out than sacrificing himself for his long lost son?
My hope would be that Daken would eventually take on his father's code name 'Wolverine' in honor of Logan. This new Wolverine could pop up throughout the X-Men franchise in films like Gambit and X-Force, and eventually another Wolverine solo film with Daken in the lead attempting to be a hero. It would be fun to see the code name of one beloved hero pass to another. This is a tradition from the comics that we've yet to see on screen in any franchise!
Wolverine is pretty badass, there's no question, but Daken is badass and evil. He's got no moral compass so he'd have to rely on those around him to set him straight, but even in the comics he's more villain than hero! He needs to come to the X-Men Universe, and it would be best before Jackman retires!
Hopefully we'll get to see Daken in Wolverine 3, it would add so much depth to the potential death of Wolverine if he had helped redeem his son, and add plenty of emotional depth to both Wolverine and Daken. It's true that we all love Hugh Jackman, and he'll be greatly missed in the X-Men universe, but re-casting Wolverine inside the franchise would be self destructive, and Daken would be a great alternative! He's similar enough to Wolverine (and related) that it would feel fresh, more than just a simple re-cast! Wolverine has had his time in the spotlight, it's time others like Daken got theirs too!