Cast This: Wolverine

It may be difficult to swallow, but at some point we'll all have to take a bite of the reality sandwich and accept that inevitably we're getting a new Wolverine, bub.

That's going to be tough. After all, Hugh Jackman has expertly embodied the character in live-action ever since Bryan Singer's first X-MEN movie in 2000, when the actor first stepped into the role as a last-minute replacement for Dougray Scott

Since then, Jackman has memorably popped his claws as the ornery adamantium-laced mutant through seven X-related feature films (plus two cameos), snarling and slashing with great enthusiasm and remarkable physical conditioning until his supposed retirement as the character with this year's hit LOGAN.

So Jackman himself may be finished playing the character... but the fact is that Wolverine remains of the most popular superheroes in the world, and Fox still owns his feature film rights (along with the rest of Marvel's mutantkind and other peripheral X-characters). Jackman's beloved portrayal may have substantially contributed to the $5 billion in worldwide box office for the entire X-movie franchise, but the studio isn't likely to let the actor's departure prevent them from trying to make more money from Wolverine in the future.

The way they would even go about introducing a different actor in the role is anyone's guess at this point. The filmmakers sort of missed an opportunity when they recast most of the major mutants with younger actors but kept the same Wolverine, even with all the dizzying timeline juggling.

The elastic nature of the X-movie continuity (which is putting it mildly -- Jackman has stated that even LOGAN is set in a "slightly different universe" than the preceding series) could end up being a benefit, allowing for a new face for the character without considerable disruption or overly complex explanation.

They could just do a reboot with an entirely new standalone Wolverine character and story (like Warner Bros. and DC are attempting with the Joker), or even go full DEADPOOL by cherry-picking various elements from the comics to build another seemingly unrelated X-universe (aside from that Stewart/McAvoy timeline wisecrack).

Even with Wolverine's confounding screen history, it's nothing compared to what his comic book counterpart has experienced. Introduced in 1974 as an opponent for the Hulk, the Canadian mutant (also known only as Logan) was soon added to the X-Men and became a fan favorite thanks to his surly demeanor, extraordinary healing factor and razor-sharp adamantium claws.

Over the decades of comic tales, Wolverine had his origin rewritten several times, eventually revealing his real name (James Howlett) and that his claws were actually part of his mutant anatomy and not "installed" when his bones were injected with the unbreakable metal as part of the Weapon X project.

He also changed his identity on several occasions, fathered an estranged son (Daken) and clone daughter (X-23), was forced to serve Apocalypse and the Hand, devolved into a savage, traveled through time, went to hell, discovered his entire complicated past was influenced by a mysterious villain named Romulus, and eventually "died" (and was replaced with an alternate future version of himself). He's the best there is at what he does, and he's been a busy guy.

Whenever Fox feels it's the right time to recast the character for a the next big-screen incarnation of Wolverine (and assuming they don't follow the recent comics and give the mantle to X-23), who could be a good fit to play everyone's favorite gruff and scruffy mutant?

Tom Hardy seems like a perfect choice, but unfortunately it seems like he has staked his comic book future on playing symbiote-powered antihero Venom in the pseudo Spider-Man spinoff, so he may be out of contention. Karl Urban is a genre-friendly face that fans may be more accepting to see popping the claws, but he isn't that much younger than Jackman.

While he hasn't stretched himself on screen yet, Scott Eastwood bears a resemblance to Jackman that would make the transition less jarring, and he's young enough to have a long tenure in the trademark sideburns (plus he's keen on the role). Luke Evans has a good look for a tenacious comic-book tough guy. If the studio goes for someone less well-known, "Game of Thrones" wildling Kristofer Hivju sure has a feral visage and knows how to scrap.

Let us know below who you think would make a killer Wolverine!

As for the previous Cast This column, choices to take over the cowl as Batman were:

1. Richard Armitage  2. Scott Adkins  3. Karl Urban

Source: JoBlo.com



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