With Disney’s merger with 21st Century Fox now a done deal, Marvel Studios are surely beginning to think about how best to bring the mutants and Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, their priority right now is probably figuring out the best way for flagship character Wolverine to get involved, as there’s been a whole lot of chatter online regarding what should be done with the iconic hero.
Sadly for fans of Hugh Jackman, Kevin Feige and co. will be looking to recast and reboot the role, shedding the two decades of character development seen in Fox’s X-Universe. Considering how James Mangold’s Logan was the perfect swansong for Jackman’s Wolverine though, and that the actor has stated on multiple occasions that he’s done with the part, this isn’t a huge surprise.
Still, anyone who plans to step into the role has some mighty big shoes to fill, and from what we’re hearing, Marvel is aiming young when it comes to the new Wolverine. Or at least, that’s according to X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner.
Speaking at a Television Critics Association panel tonight, she was asked about the future of the mutants and began by saying that those decisions are being left to Fox and Disney.
“That would be between Fox and Disney,” Shuler Donner said. “Obviously, Kevin and I started the first one. He worked for me. He’s got a great story sense. He’s got a great ability to weave each world and weave those worlds together. I trust him and I trust that he will take care of the X-Men.”
She then confirmed that Kevin Feige and the team are indeed looking for a new Wolverine, but said that she doesn’t yet know what they have in mind.
“Yes [he is]” she said. “[But] I don’t know what Kevin’s thinking honestly. I don’t even think Kevin knows. I think Kevin’s still dealing with this wealth of characters and trying to make sense of them.”
Finally, she acknowledged that it’s time for a younger actor to fill the role, saying:
“Yes, because Hugh, just the physicality of it all, just to bulk up,” she said. “This man worked so hard to bulk up, would get up at four in the morning to bulk and eat protein meals every two hours because his natural state, they used to call him Worm when he was a kid. So his natural state is a very skinny guy. Once you reach a certain age, the body just won’t go anymore. I think he was wise to say, ‘I’m at that point. I can’t do it.’ Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t come back as older Wolverine. You never know. Future Wolverine, you never know.”
Of course, as much as the fans would love to see Jackman make a return – preferably in a team-up with his old friend Deadpool – the Logan star has said it himself on many, many occasions now that the next time we see Wolvie in theaters, he’ll be played by a different actor. And if Donner is right, it’ll be a much younger actor, too.
Unfortunately, we still have no indication of who Marvel may have their eye on, but seeing how the Fox-era Wolverine is still pretty fresh in our minds, they might be wise to leave the character alone for a little while. Given the continuing popularity of Logan though, surely it’s only a matter of time before they really fire up their search to find Jackman’s replacement.