Hugh Jackman is the best there is at what he does, which is playing everybody’s favourite Canadian with cutlery in his fists, Wolverine. With the exception of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, no other actor has so embodied a character in a genre film quite like Jackman has done with his X-Man. His performances across 7 movies (including the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past) has scored Jackman an army of supporters, who would probably love him to play the character forever.
But speaking to SFX about a proposed third solo Wolverine feature film, the 45 year old actor once again hints at the fact that this may be the last time we see him pop his claws.
Besides for an unexpectedly cartoonish 3rd act, director James Mangold’s The Wolverine was a gigantic improvement over the clumsy X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The far more mature Japan-set tale was exactly what many Wolverine fans had been asking for for ages, so where would they take the character next?
“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.”
As a swan song, would Wolverine 3 stay in the Japan setting where he works so well?
“I’d probably move it to a different visual palette. I’m pretty sure that would move.”
The Wolverine took its biggest inspiration from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s iconic 1982 run on the comic, so are there any particular comic book storylines that Jackman would like to end his tenure on?
“Well, of course we’re looking at Old Man Logan, because that may be the only option left at this point! [laughs] We are looking at a lot of different storylines. No one has jumped out. You can tell from my answer that we’re still working it out. I’m working with Jim Mangold, which is exciting. Jim came on board The Wolverine after Darren [Aronofsky] left, so he inherited it. And of all the things that Jim can do, one of the great things he does is develop scripts. I’m excited to see what we can come up with, but I haven’t signed on 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 that last line is very telling, as Jackman wants to keep on improving. Not even a script that’s at the same level as The Wolverine – which was fairly decent – is good enough for him.
“If the script is as good? Hm. I don’t know if that will get me across the line, man. I think it has to be better. I can still see where we can improve on the last one. I love the intimacy of that story, I liked the small stuff, I liked that it was a little unexpected. I don’t want to get into specifics, because it just upsets people, but there are certain parts of that story where I felt we were predictable. And I don’t think you need to do that with Wolverine. What’s exciting is that you can make it a more interior story, and people actually prefer that. And that was good to show and convince everyone – especially everyone who greenlights the movies!”
I love that Jackman is willing to recognize the faults of the movies, especially since it sounds like he had the same problems with the last film as most of us had (namely, the tonal inconsistency of going from a superb, gritty, noir thriller to a CG-driven sloppy cartoon). He did the same with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and then fixed those faults, so if the same can be done for Wolverine 3, if it should happen, we should be in for a treat.
And yes, I know that he was only joking about Old Man Logan, especially since most of the key characters involved in that story are owned by other studios, but holy fracking hell what a finale that would be!
Last Updated: May 2, 2014