'The Wolverine' Sequel May Be Hugh Jackman's Last Mutant Outing
When X-Men: Days of Future Past hits this summer, it will be the sixth time that Hugh Jackman has played the adamantium clad mutant Wolverine. The actor has become a comic book James Bond of sorts, but now that he's played the same character for 15 years, it sounds like he's ready to step down. 20th Century Fox is already developing a sequel to The Wolverine with director James Mangold returning, but Jackman isn't yet officially signed to reprise his role, and he's waiting to see where the story goes before committing. The actor might be using this as a negotiating tactic, but either way, Jackman is near the end.
Speaking with SFX (via ComingSoon), Jackman was asked about The Wolverine 2 and said, "I’m excited to see what we can come up with. But I haven't signed on. I'm genuinely at that point where unless it's better than the last one I'm not going to do it." And Jackman indicates that he and Mangold are still working through where Logan's journey will go next saying, "I don't know yet. We're talking it through. I still am very ambitious for the character. And tonally I feel like we corrected the ship with the last one. But I feel we can still go further, in a way. If I did another one I'm 99.9% sure it would be the last, so that will inform what it is for me." That's quite a lot of certainty.
This is an inevitable fact that fans were going to have to face sooner than later. Much like Robert Downey Jr. will not always be Tony Stark/Iron Man, Hugh Jackman cannot always be Wolverine. Since actors are ageless like comic book characters, they will have to be replaced at some point, and it sounds like if The Wolverine 2 comes together, than Jackman will call it quits after that. The film is already set for release on the somewhat unceremonious date of March 3rd, 2017, which is in line with Mangold saying they wouldn't shoot the film until after X-Men: Apocalypse is done. Of course, since that sequel is supposed to follow the younger X-Men, we likely won't see Jackman pop up in that film at all. Stay tuned.