To paraphrase a line from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier's" end credits scene: We really do live in an age of miracles.
That's because the recent announcement of Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is nothing short of one. What was once deemed impossible has created the potential for future Marvel characters returning to home base, and the next hero on everyone's wish-list is Wolverine.
Hugh Jackman, who plays Canada's number one beer and "snikt" enthusiast, has been vocal about the crossover potential ever since "The Avengers" kickstarted the trend in 2012. During recent press rounds for his new film "Chappie," the actor continues to be vocal -- and hopeful -- about Logan one day sharing the screen with Iron Man and Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
The Sony-Marvel deal has proven that anything is possible. Here are five reasons why Wolverine needs to join his fellow Avengers on the big screen.
Make Movie History
Robert Downey, Jr. Chris Evans. Chris Hemsworth. Hugh Jackman.
Those names on both a poster and theater marquee would make Scrooge McDuck vault money. Actually, you'll need at least two vaults if you throw Spider-Man into the mix.
And you know Fox, who hold the rights to Wolverine and his fellow X-Men, are at least thinking about the possibility of adding to their coffers.
But more than the box office precedent such a movie pairing would set, it would also raise the bar for the genre in terms of casting. Jackman, like RDJ before him, is an Academy Award-nominated actor. And with someone like Joss Whedon or the Russos behind the camera, the chemistry between these actors and their characters could make for some of the best scenes ever in a comic book movie. Who doesn't want to see Wolverine, Cap and Iron Man discuss the consequences of their respective power sets in between kick-punching the bad guys?
This next-level pairing will do for the genre what Christopher Nolan's casting choices did for his Dark Knight Trilogy. And if Marvel is good at anything, it's raising their already-high bar for themselves.
Rejuvenate the Character
Wolverine's most recent X-Men movie, "Days of Future Past" as well as his recent solo turn in "The Wolverine" have added some much needed edge and dimension to the character. He's never been more fun to watch, no matter how high the odds are stacked against him. At the same time, the character does feel a bit too comfortable in his Fox-movie trappings. Adding Wolverine into the Avengers mix would give fans an opportunity to see the character engage in dynamics never before seen -- outside of pages from the comics.
While Wolverine will always be a welcome presence in any and all X-Men films, an appearance in one or more MCU films will give the character opportunities for growth that only Marvel proper can provide.
An adamantium-less Wolverine, after the events of "DOFP," dropped into the MCU and struggling to prove his worth amongst a group of dogged heroes post-"Age of Ultron" is ripe with all sorts of compelling dramatic possibilities. And if the rumors are true that Wolverine will get his metal skeleton back in the upcoming "X-Men: Apocalypse" (possibly with the help of that film's titular villain) Wolverine could find himself the target of "Captain America: Civil War's" rumored "Superhero Registration Act" plot. Who wouldn't pay to see that movie twice?
Add Much-Needed Conflict to the MCU
Marvel's Phase Three seems poised to establish a new roster of heroes that can sustain both their own solo films and enlist for crossover duty in future Avengers missions. With these new characters comes new personalities to service, ones that aren't always going to be in harmony with whatever team dynamic they join.
That creates conflict -- the type that made 2012's "Avengers" so successful. We want to see these characters struggle to be in the same room, let alone on the same team, and figure out how to work together just in time to learn what it takes to be heroes.
A lone wolf like Wolverine on a team full of Alphas in their own right is ripe with rich storytelling possibilities. What does it look like for Wolverine not to have to "carry" the team in the field, but learn to share that responsibility? What if that is a lesson he is willing to learn even if it costs the life of one of his team members -- a life that the likes of Captain America and Tony Stark aren't willing to sacrifice?
Some of the best moments in the comics depicting Wolverine's adventures with The Avengers hinge on trying circumstances like the ones mentioned above. The consequences of making the hard choices necessary to save the say are never not interesting, and Marvel could do much worse than put a guy like Logan in the center of them.
"Old Man Logan"
Fans have wanted to see a big-screen adaptation of Mark Millar's gritty, "Unforgiven"-style take on a post-apocalyptic Wolverine for some time. Maybe Marvel is the place where this can be done.
If Wolverine ever lands at Marvel proper, and a deal can be worked out similar to the Spidey one -- with Wolverine set to appear in both MCU films and his own franchise - "Old Man Logan" could be a refreshing addition to the roster. It's out-of-the-box, a big-budget one-shot that can exist as unique experiment and/or serve as a platform for future stories should its success warrant it.
And you know you want to see Logan bezerker rage the hell out of the Hulk gang on the big screen.
"Infinity War" Needs Him
This two-part film could feature Spidey swinging into the action, as the battle builds (finally) to an all-out war with Thanos. The Avengers need the best soldiers to fight this war if they want to win. Who better to have on the frontlines than Wolverine?
While this would be stunt casting, it can be done in a way that's narratively earned. Given the high stakes a threat like Thanos represents, whatever events help shape Spidey's role in the MCU can be applied to enlisting Weapon X to do what he does best.
"Avengers: Infinity War" is poised to be Marvel's biggest movie yet. It's can't hurt to have a load-bearing character like Wolverine to help carry some of the weight.
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