Logan was a bittersweet viewing experience for many. While it was great to finally see a legitimately excellent Wolverine movie that also delivered on the character’s violent nature (I’m still shocked Fox let that R-rating pass), the knowledge that the film represents Jackman’s final outing as the character makes the whole thing feel even more poignant, especially when you factor in Logan’s final shots. However, we all know that just because an actor says he’s done playing a character, doesn’t mean it’s truly the end.
There have been plenty of cases over the years in which actors have returned to roles they swore they would never do again (Sean Connery did it twice with James Bond), so there is definitely still hope of Jackman playing Wolverine again … and maybe not in a way you might expect. Here are all the ways I could see Jackman returning as Wolverine.
Given the playful rivalry between the two actors we’ve seen play out over the last year or so, it’s pretty clear that Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman want to share the screen together again as Deadpool and Wolverine, respectively. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t really make sense for Deadpool to show up in a more serious-minded X-Men movie, which is why we didn’t see the Merc with the Mouth make a cameo in Logan (that Deadpool 2 teaser notwithstanding) … but this doesn’t mean Jackman couldn’t do a cameo in Deadpool 2.
As the first movie demonstrated, the Deadpool franchise doesn’t have to play by the same rules as the mainline X-Men films, so Reynolds and co. could find a way to give Jackman a walk-on part that wouldn’t take away from the character’s arc from Logan. Whether it’s poking fun at their rivalry or just doing something totally bizarre and fourth wall-breaking, I find it hard to believe that Jackman wouldn’t want to do a Deadpool 2 cameo if the offer presented itself. Who knows, maybe it would even give Jackman a chance to show off his singing skills!
The X-Men movies get a lot of flack for its messed up timelines and confusing continuity, but it’s these elements that would actually allow for a Hugh Jackman return. While it’s true that any future appearance from Jackman at this point would diminish the impact of Logan, which would definitely be disappointing, it’s also true that the current mainline X-Men movies are set in the past, with the next entry in the series rumored to be set in the ’90s.
As Jackman’s cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse showed, there are ways to incorporate Wolverine without interrupting the main plot, and with Wolverine still alive and well at the time in which the next film is set, he could make an appearance that makes narrative sense. This scenario probably isn’t very likely, but it could be done if all parties were on board.
Dump Truck of Money
Never rule out the possibility of 20th Century Fox being so desperate to retain Hugh Jackman for one more Wolverine outing that they (figuratively speaking) show up at his front door with a dump truck full of money to convince him to stay. A similar situation is reportedly happening right now with Daniel Craig, who despite voicing his disinterest in returning for a fifth James Bond film following 2015’s Spectre, is being actively pursued by EON Productions with the promise of a big pay day (heck, even some of his co-stars are fairly confident he’ll come back).
Of course, Jackman’s case is a bit different than Craig’s since his character was literally killed off at the end of his final movie, but the flexibility of the X-Men timeline would allow for a Wolverine return and if Jackman were to receive the right offer, it’s not unreasonable to think he could go back on his promise of Logan being the end of his superhero run.
On The Stage
Alright, I’m going to dive into a ridiculous tangent here for a moment: what if there was an X-Men stage production? I know it sounds crazy and is probably a terrible idea, but if Spider-Man can get a Broadway musical featuring music from Bono and The Edge, I don’t see why the X-Men can’t. The reason I bring this up is that if this were to happen, you just know that Hugh Jackman would want to play Wolverine. The man can sing and dance and loves the stage, so it’s difficult to see him passing up on playing his most iconic role in a Broadway musical if the opportunity presented itself.
Of course, Jackman would still need to display his physicality for the role, but he wouldn’t need to be in as ridiculous shape as he had to be for his Wolverine movie outings since there doesn’t have to be any close-up shots of his abs in a stage production. I’m probably just grasping at straws here but now I really do want to see an X-Men Broadway show … but only if Hugh Jackman is involved, of course.
X-Men Meet The Avengers
In the “no way it’s going to happen but it would be totally awesome if it did” category is the X-Men franchise finally tying into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which would allow characters from both franchises to share the screen at last. Jackman has gone on record in stating that he probably would have stayed on as Wolverine if he could have been in an Avengers movie but since there was little hope of that ever happening, he ultimately walked. However, if Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox suddenly reached a deal tomorrow that enabled the two universes to crossover for the first time, there’s a very real chance Jackman would change his mind about leaving, especially if he got the chance to fight the Hulk. Again, not going to happen, but how great would it be if it did?
This would be a terrible way for Hugh Jackman to return as Wolverine, but the fact of the matter is that since the technology exists (and is being used by more and more big franchises), it remains a possibility. What I’m talking about here is using CGI to recreate Hugh Jackman’s likeness, similar to how Rogue One: A Star Wars Story used the technology to essentially bring the late Peter Cushing back to life as Grand Moff Tarkin and present a younger Princess Leia, as Carrie Fisher was still alive at the time the film was being made.
It would certainly be much easier for Fox to recast Wolverine and just use a new actor, but if the studio is determined to stick with Jackman’s likeness and Jackman ends up giving permission for his likeness to be used, this is a route that could certainly be followed, as it would allow filmmakers to present Jackman’s version of the character at any age. It’s not going to happen because it’s a stupid idea that I’m sure Jackman would not approve of, but it’s technically possible all the same.
I’m putting this one on the list not only because it’s possible but because we’ve already seen it happen a few times. Jackman has been the star of a couple Wolverine-focused X-Men games over the years, with the surprisingly good X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie tie-in game from 2009 being even better than the movie it was based on.
Marvel’s new initiative on outsourcing game development to studios known for making quality titles certainly raises questions of whether there’s a future for Jackman’s likeness to be used in future video games, but even if we don’t see a whole game dedicated to the character again, there’s still potential for Wolverine to pop up in all sorts of titles. For instance, the upcoming Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite could feature an unlockable Hugh Jackman Wolverine skin, with Jackman even providing the voice. Hell, there’s really no reason why Jackman couldn’t just voice the character in upcoming games no matter what version of Wolverine is being used.
One way that Marvel could retain Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine would be to do a comic book series that uses the actor’s likeness and characterization. This would allow Jackman to not have to train like a madman in order to get in shape for another Wolverine movie (while I’m sure he could do it again, it can’t be getting any easier for a man who’s pushing 50) and let him serve in an advisory role.
Although Jackman was criticized in the early days of his X-Men career for looking quite different from Wolverine’s traditional appearance, the fact is that many fans now think of Jackman instead of the stout, spandex-wearing figure from the comics when they think of the character. It would be interesting if Marvel were to capitalize on this with a Wolverine comic that celebrates Jackman’s legacy, while also taking his character in some new directions that weren’t explored in the films.
Hugh Jackman may be done playing Wolverine in live action, but that doesn’t mean he has to give up playing the character altogether. If a new X-Men animated series or movie gets produced, Jackman could provide the voice and likeness of Wolverine. This would actually be a great fit for the actor, as it would allow him to do something a little different with the character he’s so well known for, while also sparing his aging body from another physically-demanding shoot.
This would also be a great way to attract viewership to the show or movie in question, as attaching Jackman’s name to anything X-Men related is akin to giving it a seal of quality at this point. Plus, this could be the only way we ever see Jackman don the classic Wolverine outfit and if it has to be in animated form, so be it.