With Disney’s merger with 21st Century Fox now a done deal, Marvel Studios have no doubt already begun planning how best to incorporate mutants and the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, according to The Hollywood Reporter, their priority right now is figuring out the best way for flagship character Wolverine to slash his way into the ongoing saga, with studio execs said to be excited about the possibilities.
Sadly for fans of Hugh Jackman, it seems as if they’re going to recast and reboot the role, shedding the two decades of character development seen in Fox’s X-Universe and going for a new interpretation. Given that James Mangold’s Logan was the perfect swansong for Jackman’s Wolverine, together with him publicly announcing he’s giving up the role, this isn’t a huge surprise.
Still, any actor planning to step into the part has some mighty big shoes to fill – Jackman’s take on the character was a big reason why the original X-Men was a hit, and you can draw a clear line from Bryan Singer’s tonal sensibilities to Jon Favreau’s work on Iron Man and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A couple of names have even already been mooted for the role, with Kit Harington and Garrett Hedlund among the more likely casting choices.
If I were a betting man, I’d predict that next year’s (currently untitled) Avengers 4 will likely tease the future arrival of mutants in the MCU, with a surprise cameo by Wolverine the perfect way to stoke fan hype. Still, no matter what Marvel Studios does, Hugh Jackman’s take on the character is likely to cast a very long shadow over any future on-screen Wolverine appearances, and we imagine that this new take on the iconic hero will have a tough time living up to what we’ve seen over the past 17 years.