As far as swansongs for iconic characters go, they don’t come much better than Logan. After embodying Wolverine for almost two decades, and starring in his fair share of subpar sequels and spinoffs along the way, Hugh Jackman gave the character the sendoff he deserved as he seemed to draw a definitive line under his tenure as the adamantium-infused mutant.
However, as soon as Disney completed their takeover of Fox, the rumor mill almost immediately started turning about the Australian actor potentially growing out his sideburns once again now that the possibility of seeing Wolverine cross paths with the Avengers had become a reality. Despite reiterating more than once that he was officially retired from the role, the fact that Jackman admitted that he’d have loved the chance to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s sandbox hasn’t done much to dissuade the speculation.
While we recently reported that the 51 year-old had declined Marvel’s offer to make a full-time return, he wasn’t completely ruling out the idea of a cameo, presumably as long as it didn’t compromise the emotional impact of Logan’s ending that left comic book fans around the world with tears in their eyes by the time the credits rolled.
In a recent interview, director James Mangold was asked about the possibility of Jackman suiting up once more, and while he admitted that he’d find it more than a little surprising, he hopes that if it ever happened then it would be for reasons that weren’t purely financially-motivated.
“I’d be startled that Hugh was strapping it on again. What I’d be curious about if any of these things happened would be, what are they doing with it? Meaning, I would have no qualm if someone had a good idea. If it’s basically, ‘I ran out of money and I needed a big paycheck, and I’m doing an empty film that cheapens the quality of the previous’. Well, that would be its own sadness.”
Mangold went on to explain that while he doesn’t have an issue if Logan didn’t mark the end of Jackman’s run as Wolverine, if the actor was to return there would have to be a justifiable reason for it other than Marvel Studios cashing in on one of 21st Century cinema’s most popular and bankable characters.
“The reality is that, if you have a good idea for a character, then there’s nothing wrong with doing anything. I don’t make these rules. For me, I’m always just asking that someone do something imaginative that doesn’t just seem like you’re taking all these assets and throwing them on a screen again, just to make dough.”
While that sounds a little hypocritical coming from the guy who recently signed on to direct Indiana Jones 5, an action blockbuster sequel that’s set to star an 80 year-old man in the lead role by the time it eventually hits theaters, you can still totally understand Mangold’s point. Just because Marvel could theoretically turn up at Hugh Jackman’s door with enough cash to convince him to play Wolverine again doesn’t mean that they should.