Hugh Jackman in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' & 'Wolverine 2' Back-to Back?
In just two weeks, we'll see X-Men: Days of Future Past hit the big screen, and we're hoping the combination of both lead casts from X-Men and X-Men: First Class makes for one hell of a mash-up. But at the same time, we're also wondering what Fox has in store for their future Marvel installments with the characters. We've heard that X-Men: Apocalypse, set for May 27th, 2016, will focus on the X-Men: First Class cast, but it sounds like at least one of the original X-Men stars will stick around, and it makes perfect sense. If a couple interviews from Collider are interpreted correctly, it looks like Hugh Jackman may not only be in X-Men: Apocalypse, but he might shoot back-to-back with The Wolverine 2. Read on!
Now the interesting thing here is that X-Men: Apocalypse and The Wolverine 2 take place in two different timelines. The Wolverine from last year followed Hugh Jackman after the events of the first three X-Men films, and the sequel would continue that path. However, X-Men: Days of Future Past takes place both in the future after The Wolverine and also in the past before the original X-Men films.
Now we've already seen Wolverine turn down Professor X and Magneto's offer to join their team in X-Men: First Class, but clearly the time traveling transfer of modern-day Wolverine's consciousness to the Wolverine of the past changes things up a bit, essentially creating a whole new timeline to follow from the past. After all, Bryan Singer recently talked about recasting the roles of Cyclops, Storm and Jean Grey, because he eventually wants to show how that particular group of X-Men came together.
But if there are two different X-Men timelines now, why would X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Wolverine need to shoot back-to-back? Well, it's a matter of practicality for Hugh Jackman to keep up his ripped physique to play the mutant. Collider spoke to Jackman about the prospect of shooting those two films together, and he didn't bat an eye, almost as if he knows that he's in X-Men: Apocalypse:
Collider: Is that something you’d want to do in the future, let’s say for X-Men: Apocalypse and another Wolverine sequel? Or is that something where you think that’s too much?
Jackman: No, in a weird way that has crossed my mind if that’s the way things play out, because physically, even though I was complaining about it because I found out about ['X-Men: Days of Future Past'] a month before I finished 'The Wolverine,' so I was already planning on my cheat meals. It’s much easier because it’s tough to get there, physically, but once you’re there, it’s easier to maintain it.
So while he doesn't confirm that he's in X-Men: Apocalypse, the fact that he's thinking about how to maintain his physique for two films is an important piece of information. And the fact that he's now worked with the X-Men of the past in X-Men: Days of Future Past means that he could stick around for the events of X-Men: Apocalypse. And if we needed anymore confirmation, Collider also spoke to producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker and they confirmed that they're attempting to get both sequels going with back-to-back production:
Collider: It seemed what [Jackman] was saying to me was that in an ideal world, X-Men: Apocalypse and another Wolverine solo movie would be, in an ideal world, filmed very close together to keep his physique. So are you guys planning to film them that way?
Lauren Schuler Donner: We’re trying
Hutch Parker: We are
Lauren Schuler Donner: We're absolutely trying yes.
And then Donner thought out loud, "We announced Apocalypse to come out in 2016, so that means we have to shoot next summer. And then we’d have to shoot our new Wolverine movie either before or after that. I think after because it will come out after." The Wolverine 2 is already slated for release on March 2, 2017 so that makes perfect sense. Of course, Hugh Jackman has been playing coy about whether or not he's going to end up doing The Wolverine 2, depending on how the story works out with director James Mangold. Of course, this would be a hell of a way for Jackman to finish up his time as the character since he's said that The Wolverine sequel will likely be his last turn as the mutant.
But there seems to be a problem with how all this will play out franchise wise. Obviously this kind of thinking is far out, but if The Wolverine 2 ends up being Jackman's last film as the character, then will they kill him off or have him leave the team in X-Men: Apocalypse? If not, they'd have to recast the role if the character is meant to stick around in the timeline featuring the X-Men: First Class cast. We don't know what kind of role Wolverine will have in the 2016 sequel, so some of this is pure speculation, but it sounds like Fox has big plans for how to continue the X-Men franchise, and hopefully Hugh Jackman is with them.