No one knew it at the time, but when Hugh Jackman signed on to play Wolverine, he was making a choice that wouldn’t just define a career but an entire genre. When ‘X-Men’ hit theaters in the summer of 2000, it was a rare gem of a thing: a superhero movie that was actually good. It’s success, along with that of Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ two years later, helped kick off a boom in superhero films that would eventually give rise to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which itself is credited with reshaping the film business in the new millennium). Through all that, the ‘X-Men’ movies have been (and remain) a constant, one of which Hugh Jackman has been a core part. Or at least he was until retiring from the role with the 2017 release of ‘Logan’.
So after nearly two decades in the role, Hugh Jackman is done with Wolverine. That much is seems fairly definitive (though try telling that to Ryan Reynolds). But does that mean he’s done with superheroes? While speaking to MTV in the course of promoting his latest film, ‘The Front Runner’, Jackman revealed that he would be open to tackling another superhero:
“Oh yeah, I’d be open to that. Yeah, for sure. I mean, for me I never saw it as a superhero, even when I got Logan and I didn’t know much about the ‘X-Men’ series or comic book series, I was like “These are great characters.” All of these people are flawed characters. Sure they have extraordinary abilities, right, but they are all really flawed, and that’s what the movie’s about. That’s why people relate to it.”
So what it comes down to is that it would just have to be the right role. Which, of course, opens leads us to the obvious question: What is the right role? Given that Jackman is so associated with Wolverine (seventeen years will do that), the obvious answer might seem to be any of the countless grim and gritty imitators that emerged throughout the eighties and nineties. But he’s been down that road. And of course, he’s an actor. And one with considerable range at that. So maybe it would be better to go in the opposite direction, with a character as unlike Wolverine as possible.
Which superheroes would you like to see Hugh Jackman play? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more!