It’s officially official: Hugh Jackman will retire his mutant claws after completing his third solo Wolverine movie.
If you didn’t get the hint from the 46-year-old Aussie actor’s Instagram post last month, Jackman made his X-Man exit explicit during a Thursday appearance on The Dr. Oz Show. “This will be my last one,” said the 46-year-old actor who will have portrayed the angry mutant at least seven times on the big screen when all is said and done, counting the X-Men movies. (It’s still not clear whether he’ll pop up in Bryan Singer’s forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, which just started filming last week.)
“It is my last time,” Jackman reiterated Thursday, referring to Wolverine 3. “It just felt like it was the right time to do it. And let’s be honest, 17 years. I never thought in a million years it would last, so I’m so grateful to the fans for the opportunity of playing it.”
As for what’s going down in the sequel set to come out March 3, 2017, that’s for Jackman to know and us to find out. “I kind of have in my head what we’re going to do in this last one. It just feels like this is the perfect way to go out.”
While we don’t know for sure whether Jackman will appear in Apocalypse, we do know that elder X-Men Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen definitely won’t be in the movie. That doesn’t mean they’re quitting the series completely — Stewart is rumored to be reprising his role as Professor X in Wolverine 3.
Could the next Wolverine film be a true sendoff for the character, at least until the inevitable reboot? Or is Logan destined to wander the world with mutton chops forever?
Considering X-Men: Days of Future Past completely rewrote the continuity of the X-movie universe, it’s anyone’s guess what the next Wolverine film will be about. Will it be tied to the events of The Wolverinein any way? Obviously, none of that film is canonical anymore, but Wolverine himself remembers it as though it occurred.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for director James Mangold, who went about making a film – with the obvious intention of following it up with a sequel – only to find out that Bryan Singer was wiping it from existence.
Since Jackman’s on his way out of the franchise and Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence are probably on their way out, what can we expect from future X-Men movies? Will Fox fully reboot the series? (Days of Future Past was a soft reboot, at most.) Or will they pass the torch onto the new class that’s being introduced in Apocalypse?
Whatever they do, it’s hard to imagine they’ll just retire Wolverine from the movies altogether. As annoyed as some people are by his prominence in the series, there’s no doubt that he sells tickets in a way few X-Men do.
Nevertheless we know that Hugh Jackman will leave an everlasting last impression on one of Marvel’s most beloved characters in this last installment to Jackman’s Wolverine legacy.
Here’s some of the best of Wolverine: