It would be hard, if not impossible, to argue that Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the mutant superhero Wolverine was one of the big factors in making the first X-Men film a franchise launching hit. But after a decade and a half of playing the role, it looks as if Jackman is ready to retract his claws.
Over the weekend, Jackman posted a picture to his Instagram account of his hands sporting his famous claws with the caption “WOLVERINE …ONE LAST TIME”. Director James Mangold tweeted out a link to the picture, confirming that the pairs planned Wolverine solo film set for March 3, 2017 would be that film.
— Mangold (@mang0ld) March 29, 2015
The news will probably come as a disappointment to some fans, but they knew that this day had to come at some point. Jackman is the only actor to appear in every single released film of the superhero team franchise, although he has not been confirmed as showing up in next summer’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
This announcement does seem to be in sharp contrast to statements that Jackman had been making earlier in the year that he would be content to play the character until he died. So why is this now his last hurrah as the character? Did Jackman have a change of heart? Or have the producers or even the studio Twentieth century Fox decide to either let the character rest for the time being or recast the role? Could their be some hardball contract negotiations going on right now behind the scenes?