Hugh Jackman will soon retract his adamantium claws for good, with next year’s third Wolverine movie being the actor’s final outing as the X-Men character. Although Jackman’s take on Wolverine has been different in some notable ways from how the character has typically been presented in Marvel comics, for many, Jackman’s name has become synonymous with the character. His tenure in the role (Jackman will have portrayed Wolverine over a span of 17 years across nine different films when all is said and done), combined with his gruff, yet amiable performance, means that whoever inherits the role will have the almost impossible task of living up to what Jackman brought to the table. While there are reportedly no current plans to recast the role once Jackman is done, any of the following actors would do a fine job as the next Wolverine if and when the role is eventually recast.
10. Kit Harington
Hey, he’s going to need something to do after Game of Thrones wraps up in a few years! Okay, so there’s more reason than that to include Kit Harington as a possible Wolverine candidate. Gifted with a rugged charm and leading man qualities, getting the chance to play Wolverine could be Harington’s big break in making the transition from TV actor to movie star. He’s already a very likable actor (and his good looks certainly wouldn’t hurt his chances) but more than that, we’re just curious to see what he could do with a role that would call for him to be a more complicated hero than he’s used to playing. Wolverine is prone to having some rage blackouts from time to time and frankly, this is a side of Harington we need to see.
9. Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy is an immensely talented, chameleon-like actor who can disappear into just about any role he’s given. Hardy only stands at 5’8″ tall, which is much more in line with Wolverine’s typically shorter stature from the comics than the 6’2″ Jackman, so that’s already something Hardy has in his favor. We’ve also seen in films such as The Dark Knight Rises that Hardy can bulk up quite well for a role, so he’ll have no problem attaining Wolverine’s muscular physique. Hardy also has a penchant for playing unhinged characters, a talent that he could bring to the table if Marvel and Fox want to give us a more unstable Logan than we’re used to seeing from Jackman’s take on the character.
8. Taron Egerton
Although Taron Egerton is still an up-and-comer in some ways, he’s already proven himself to have the chops to carry his own movie, thanks primarily to his breakout role in last year’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. The 26-year-old is 5’10” and in great shape, which places him well as Wolverine from a physical standpoint, but his youth also means that he’d be able to grow with the role and really make it his own over multiple films. The only thing that Egerton has going against him is that he doesn’t really look rough enough to play a convincing Logan, but with the right touch of grimy makeup and a nice manly beard, you could probably turn him into a pretty good looking Wolverine.
7. Scott Eastwood
Scott Eastwood is such a handsome guy, you can pretty much find him on any casting list for a big leading role (unsurprisingly, his name came up during the young Han Solo casting hunt earlier this year). Fittingly, Hugh Jackman has often been compared to a young Clint Eastwood, so wouldn’t Eastwood’s son be the next best thing? The only real roadblock to Eastwood being cast is that he already has a significant role in Suicide Squad, which might make it difficult to star in a rival studio’s superhero franchise. Then again, if Eastwood gets offered the chance to be Wolverine, he would totally take it, right?
6. Michiel Huisman
You probably recognize Michiel Huisman from his role as Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones. Although he has a relatively minor role on that series, Huisman absolutely makes the most out of every scene he’s in and his natural charisma makes him a captivating on-screen presence. Huisman is ready for a leading role and since he already has the Wolverine look down for the most part, he would be a good choice for Logan.
5. Iwan Rheon
Yes, we’re including yet another Game of Thrones actor on this list, but it’s not our fault that that show’s casting directors choose such great actors! To be honest, Iwan Rheon’s character Ramsay Bolton is one of the worst characters on Game of Thrones, but none of that is Rheon’s fault, whose manic, psychotic performance is at the very least always captivating to watch. It would be cool to see Rheon channel that energy and drive into a more heroic role, and his relatively short stature makes him an easy fit for Wolverine. Plus, he’s already shown that he’s pretty good at playing characters who are animal-like in nature, so he could definitely make the transition from playing a feral dog to a wild, yet disciplined hunter.
4. Clive Standen
If looks are of the utmost concern, than Clive Standen should already get the call to come read for Wolverine. Best known for playing Rollo on History’s Vikings, Standen already plays a character who is wildly intense and a ferocious fighter, so playing Wolverine isn’t exactly a stretch from that. Additionally, Standen has the physical chops for the role, as he used to be a stuntman before transitioning to acting, and does the majority of his own stunts already. At 35, he’s also the right age for the part, being right in that sweet spot of being able to convincingly pull off Logan’s ageless appearance.
3. Liam Hemsworth
Baby Hemsworth is in desperate need of a good leading role. His brother Chris already gets to be the God of Thunder, so Liam should get the opportunity to forge his own path as a popular superhero. Okay, so the truth is that Liam definitely has the physical stature and look to play a convincing Wolverine, but more than that, he’s a good actor who just hasn’t had the chance to prove that he can carry his own franchise. Also, it would be pretty funny if he got to share the screen with his brother Thor one day, if and when the X-Men series ever gets put under the Marvel Cinematic Universe banner.
2. Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal is one of Hollywood’s most talented leading men and frankly, we want to see what he would do with a superhero role. Gyllenhaal has a knack for disappearing into his roles and if you take a look at images of him and his chiseled physique from last year’s Southpaw, you can easily picture him with Logan’s adamantium claws and a lot more facial hair. He has also shown that he can be convincingly intimidating, which is definitely a boon for anyone playing a character as fearsome as Wolverine. It’s doubtful that an actor as high profile as Gyllenhaal will even be in the running when it comes time to cast a new Wolverine, but even still, it’s hard to be upset with the idea of him playing the part because you know he would just destroy it.
1. Justin Theroux
Anyone who has watched HBO’s The Leftovers (which, let’s be real, doesn’t include many of you reading this) knows how excellent Justin Theroux has been on that series. His ferocious, charismatic performance as troubled small town sheriff Kevin Garvey are just the sort of qualities that would make for a good Logan and when you take into account that he’s already physically fit (though he would probably have to pack on some muscle to truly be convincing) it’s quite easy to see the 45-year-old Theroux as a slightly older, world-weary Wolverine.