One Final “SNIKT!”
A day that I’ve been dreading has finally arrived: Hugh Jackman has announced his retirement from the role of Wolverine. Yes, the third Wolverine film will be his last. While it’s not that surprising that the 47 year old actor is tired of getting into peak physical condition every few years, I’m really bummed out by this. To me, Jackman was the first actor to really nail the comic character he played. Before Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, before Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, before Christian Bale’s Batman, there was Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Yes, he was a foot taller than the character, but Jackman was able to tap into the rage, ferocity, and nobleness of Logan, and introduced him to a whole new audience.
One of the reasons why Jackman impressed me so much was because he brought his A game to every X-Men movie he worked on, regardless of their end result. He’s gone on record stating that he and the producers messed up with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand, but you can tell that he 100% believed in the movies while he was making them. Jackman was always ready and willing to promote his films and talk with the fans, even when they hated the movie he was in. But at the end of the day, as bad as Last Stand and Origins were, you can never knock Hugh Jackman’s performance in them. He’s never phoned it in as Wolverine. Hell, the guy tries to get in better shape each time he plays him!
I was in middle school with the first X-Men film came out. I never in a million years thought that the guy I saw slash a shotgun in that film’s opening moments would still be playing the same character fifteen years later, but he is. I’m definitely going to miss Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and he’s going to be leaving some very big shoes to fill. In a perfect world, I’d want them to wait 15-20 years and have Jackman return and star in an Old Man Logan movie, but we all know that that’s not going to happen.
Of course, with Hugh stating that Wolverine 3 will be his last film as the character, it’s time to start thinking ahead for who could pick up the claws. Honestly, I’m hoping for Joe Mangienello from True Blood, who, while bigger than Jackman in both height and musculature, could tap into the berserker fury easily. It would also be kind of cool to see Kit Harrington from Game of Thrones play him as well, although he’ll have to bulk up considerably. There are a lot of different routes Fox could take with Wolverine, but the big test will be if audiences accept someone other than Hugh Jackman in the role. I know it’ll be difficult for me to see anyone else play Wolverine.