Although Hugh Jackman ominously intoned that his time as Wolverine is "nearing the end" just two months ago, it appears that day isn't arriving any time soon.
Deadline reports director James Mangold has begun negotiations with Fox for a sequel to this summer's "The Wolverine," "with Hugh Jackman bringing back his signature character with the razor sharp adamantium hooks." Lauren Shuler Donner, who has shepherded the studio's X-Men franchise since 2000, would return as producer.
"The Wolverine," which was based in part on the 1982 Marvel Comics miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, earned more than $413 million worldwide, out-grossing 2009's much-criticized "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."
Jackman had suggested in September that next summer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" could be his final turn as Wolverine, although he didn't dismiss the possibility for another film entirely. "I do feel that. If there are any more movies, there would have to be a really good reason for it," he said.
Indeed, Jackman was convinced his days as the adamantium-clawed mutant would've ended years ago. "I can tell you this, and I can say this now: I wasn't sure that I would do another Wolverine movie after the first one," he said. "I just felt that I hadn't done the character justice, and that was a bit of a hole inside of me."
There's no hint of a possible plot or timeline. Mangold's calendar doesn't appear to be full, but Jackman has Neill Blomkamp's "Chappie" and the P.T. Barnum biopic "The Greatest Showman on Earth" ahead of him.