It's been in the air for years now. As Hugh Jackman enters his 15th year as the current face of Wolverine for 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise, he's made it known for some time that the clock is ticking. We know he'll make it to at least a 17th year, since he's contracted to do a third solo Wolverine film, but the actor has been pretty vocal about that film being his last hurrah. Now, while out promoting a new documentary, Dukale's Dream, the actor sheds some light on where his thoughts are with regard to walking away from Logan.
Oh, and he also fields a pair of questions about those other two X-Men films that are set to come out before Wolverine III- which would be Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse.
On leaving the part:
"It was a gut feeling. I don't know how many more egg-white omelettes I can eat," Jackson jested when asked what brought on the decision to leave. But that's not to say that the Aussie isn't enthused about filming his Wolverine finale. "Weirdly, I'm really excited about shooting it. I feel great enthusiasm," he said about the film, which will find him working once again with director James Mangold. "I suppose it's denial -- like the football player who announces their retirement before their last season -- and so I'm really looking forward to it. But, I know its not over yet! I still got a lot of 4 o'clock mornings and a hell of a lot of egg white omelettes and steamed chicken to have, and all of that."
Might he have to start doing "all of that" stuff a little sooner? After all, before he puts the claws on again for Wolverine III, there's Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse coming out.
The actor has said in the past, about Logan and Deadpool, that "they are definitely enemies in the comics and they always spark off well together, so I’d be open to that idea." With Deadpool being so meta, it wouldn't be hard to imagine the film having a fun little cameo for Jackman, where they acknowledge the last time he and Ryan Reynolds played Wolverine and Deadpool on-screen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But could he confirm that a cameo was in the works? "Hmmm, I can't ... no. Nope. But, I am really good mates with [Reynolds] so..."
And what about Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse? The actor would only say, "Who knows?"
Jackman sounds very happy about the current state of X-Men movies, acknowledging that his perspective on staying linked to the franchise for all this time has shifted in recent years. "I feel very blessed that I loved playing this part. The last 'Wolverine' and that last 'X-Men' ['Days of Future Past'] were maybe two of the best and I feel like, hopefully, we'll do it again with this last one," he told HuffPost. "There was a period about six years ago when I could see my choices being narrowed by Wolverine, but now I feel like they've opened up from doing 'Les Mis' or 'Prisoners' or 'Pan.' The options coming to me right now are more varied than they've ever been in my life. Hopefully, I'm not that actor in 10 years who's unemployed going, 'Why did I ever leave it?' and then begging to come back."
The actor also says he wouldn't be at all surprised if Fox was all ready quietly working on who will succeed him in the role. "They were all really supportive -- 17 years is a long time. And I'm sure that they've already started casting, you know? Someone may sign up for an 11-picture deal, as we speak."
It's definitely going to be strange to see someone else in the role, considering he will have played the part nearly 20 years when we see a new face in the part. I'd almost rather they just avoid using the character for a while. The entire initial X- trilogy centered on the character, and he'll have a solo trilogy completed by then on top of that. So I wouldn't rush right back to him. Give him some time away. Keep the focus on the First Class people, and who knows? Maybe do an "Old Man Logan" storyline in another 10-12 years that lets Jackman come back for another iconic appearance.
Just my two cents...