The torrent of rumors about Hugh Jackman‘s final appearance as Wolverine came to a head this week with word that Deadpool will make an appearance in “Logan.” That report,
With Deadpool’s mainstream popularity skyrocketing, fans have been clamoring to see the wise-cracking Merc With a Mouth make some cameos in Fox’s other “X-Men” films. And while it might be be fun to see the pair interact, appearing in “Logan” would not be a wise move for either the film, or the characters.
It’s no secret that “Deadpool” is likely the start of something amazing for the “X-Men” franchise. With its R-rating and raunchy humor, the film revolutionized what a superhero movie could be. But there’s a time and place for everything, and “Logan” is neither for Reynolds’ quippy, charming antihero.
Jackman has proudly been the face of Wolverine for 17 years, making his debut in 2000’s franchise-launching “X-Men” before going on to reprise the role seven — soon to be eight — times. Not only has “Logan” been hyped as Jackman’s Wolverine swansong, based on the trailers, it looks to be the most emotional and vulnerable take on the character audiences have yet experienced. A story featuring a heavily scarred Wolverine, both physically and emotionally, has the potential to be Jackson’s best performance to date as the fan-favorite mutant. Adding Deadpool to the mix, even in a post-credits cameo, would taint the tone of the film and take away from what should be a proper sendoff for Jackman. Deadpool is notorious for his humor, breaking the fourth wall and making light of normally serious situations. He’s not a character audiences would accept in a film like “Logan.”
Reynolds himself agrees on that point, tweeting, “I want a Deadpool/Wolvie film. But Logan is its own unique & perfect thing. The Big Red Shit-Talker wouldn’t mix with the tone.”
Rather than attempting to justify the appearance, no matter how fleeting, of a character like Wade Wilson, “Logan” needs to spend time developing other elements, perhaps most importantly the introduction of Laura Kinney, aka X-23, a young girl who is very similar to Wolverine. With Jackman on his way out, fans speculate the title of Wolverine could be passed to Kinney as it was in the Marvel comics. This film is critical in explaining the origins and developing the character of the potential next Wolverine. It’s important, then, that the film not lose sight of its direction, and maintain focus on what the trailers have promised.
As it stands, the legacy of the Wolverine film franchise has been a mixed bag, with 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” easily standing as the worst of the bunch. It was heavily criticized for its poor writing, low-level CGI, uninspiring plot and, ironically, for mishandling Reynolds’ debut as Deadpool. Heck, “Deadpool” made sure to remind fans on several occasions just how bad a movie “Origins” was.
Fast forward to 2013, and the franchise received a second chance at redemption with “The Wolverine.” This film, with director James Mangold at the helm, met with greater critical and commercial success that its predecessor. Although flawed, thanks to its intriguing setting, interesting characters and coherent plot coupled with Jackman’s performance, the movie proved that Wolverine could successfully drive a solo film. It succeeded at maintaining its darker tones and direction while reminding viewers just what makes Wolverine so different from other superheroes, beyond his mutant healing ability, adamantium-laced skeleton and forearm-popping claws.
The essence of classic Wolverine stories isn’t found in witty banter and humor. They are about intense action sequences and offering a look into the battle-hardened psyche of a mutant who has experienced more loss over the course of his extended life than most of us can imagine. For Wolverine, it seems as though he’s always losing someone or something, and is always fighting; loss and fighting is all he knows. It’s a solid narrative that befits a complex character like Wolverine, and one “Logan” should, and likely will, present to audiences.
There is little doubt that Deadpool will get his team-up with another one of the Fox-controlled Marvel characters in the near future, possibly even one with Wolverine, if the latest reports pan out. But if the studio truly wants to maintain Wade Wilson’s level of popularity and give audiences something to look forward to, it would do well to keep him out of “Logan.” Jackman has done the character of Wolverine a great service for the past 17 years, and his last solo ride should be one fans remember for his performance as he rides off into the sunset, not because of a poop emoji joke from Deadpool.
Opening March 3, 2017, “Logan” also stars Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal and Elizabeth Rodriguez.
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