Ahead of the release of “Logan,” much has been made of this third and final “Wolverine” film being Hugh Jackman’s farewell to the role. After debuting as the character almost 17 years ago in 2000’s “X-Men,” Jackman has appeared as the clawed mutant in nine films. Even “Deadpool” includes comedic shoutouts to the actor, even if the film’s the only one in the franchise that doesn’t feature Hugh himself. Now that the end has come for Jackman, fans also want to know if it’s also the end of the road for Wolverine as well.
While speaking with CBR, producers Hutch Parker and Simon Kinberg revealed they went into “Logan” with the intention of it serving as Wolverine’s final big-screen outing.
“The truth is, we really have treated this as a final chapter,” Parker said. “The idea of doing any other kind of Wolverine storyline so soon after [Jackman’s departure], we really haven’t gone there and I don’t know that we will for a while. I don’t have a specific answer to that. I suppose anything’s possible, but certainly as someone that’s been involved with these [films] in one way or another for the 17 years, I do feel like — I don’t know if I’d know where to go that would be a worthy and continued advancement of our understanding of the character at this point. That’s what would have to probably happen in order to invite another one.”
Kinberg then added that “Logan” is a great way for the character’s journey to end, as he feels it tops all the Wolverine films that preceded it.
“I was also thinking about recently, this is a super-random metaphor, it’s rare to think of an example in movies and I don’t think I can come up with one. I came up with one in sports, of someone going out at the peak of their powers,” Kinberg said. “Not that he had a great Super Bowl, but Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl and then retired. This, I believe, is the best Wolverine movie. That’s easy to say. I think it’s arguably one of the best — or the best — X-Men movie. The fact that Hugh and Wolverine, at least for this moment, are going out in some ways on top creatively is something that Hugh wanted from the very beginning and we all aspired toward. We are all very proud that it’s getting the response that it’s getting and that it is acknowledged as the best of the Wolverine movies and the best that Hugh has been as this character. That’s a hard thing to do 17 years into playing the same characters and seven or eight movies into playing the same character to find new areas, new nuances to play and a different way of playing them — and I think probably the most accurate way of playing him compared to the comics.”
Jackman himself has made it clear he’s finished with Wolverine. “When I had the script, I was like, ‘Yes,’” Jackman said when asked whether “Logan” is his final X-Men film. “And when I was shooting the movie, yes. As I sit here today, yes … God knows how I’ll feel in three years. But right now, absolutely.”
Still, Jackman also said in that same interview he’s confident “someone else will play [Wolverine], for sure.” Parker and Kinberg don’t seem ready to say they’ll recast Wolverine, and “Logan” director James Mangold doesn’t want them to. He’s gone on record saying no one else should play the character.
“Logan” is set in the near future, years after the epilogue of 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” In it, a weary Logan, whose healing factor is failing, cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.
Written by Michael Green, Scott Frank, James Mangold and David James Kelly, “Logan” stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Dafne Keen and Stephen Merchant. The film opens March 30.
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