As you may or may not be aware, Hugh Jackman holds the record for the most times portraying a single comic book superhero (seven at present–soon to be eight). He’s the best at what he does–and what he does is play a goddamn pitch-perfect James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine.
But even Jackman knows all good things must come to an end and whatnot. We’ve talked about his future as the animalistic Canadian antihero once or twice before, and a few months ago IGN‘s Scott Collura sat down with the (apparently super nice) actor and discussed, among other things, the likelihood that he’ll be passing the adamantium claws to a successor anytime soon:
First Collura asked if there was ever any talk of bringing in an actor to play “Young” Wolverine in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, kinda like how they have different actors to play “Young” and “Old” Xavier and Magneto (Which would have made precisely ZERO sense, as First Class already established that Wolvie has looked like….well, like Hugh Jackman, since at least the 1960s–but I digress). Here’s what Jackman said:
I’m sure they had the discussion. They didn’t mention it to me, obviously! [Laughs] Look, that’s inevitable, man. Anyone who thinks they’re indispensable in this business is fooling themselves. But I feel unbelievably blessed to have this part. I never thought in a million years I’d get to play him seven times. Every day I walk on the set with the claws and the hair, I thank my lucky stars. I don’t take any of it for granted. To think that in a second version we’d have this cast and this director, and you guys don’t know the script, but I would say probably the best script of all of them, is pretty amazing. I think that’s why I’m still here. I’m sure by the way, that it won’t always be my decision to always be here. At some point, someone will close the door on me… [Laughs]
Now just sit back and witness Hugh unabashedly gushing about the role, the script, the director, and his co-stars (He REALLY does sound like an awesomely nice guy 🙂 )
Well luckily, of all the bouncing around I do, the easiest one to bounce back to is Wolverine obviously. For me, the experience kinda gets weirdly… I don’t feel, people might presume I’m getting tired of it. I don’t. It feels deeper to me and even more engaging than ever. I’m probably having more fun with the character than ever before. But this particular film is one that brings up a lot of feelings of gratitude for me. First of all, to walk on the set in the first few weeks was weird. It was like a reunion with Bryan. I owe a lot to Bryan. He cast me in this character. This was the first film I ever did in America and it had this incredible cast, this great director, and I was playing this unbelievable role. Even if it was bad, I would have said yes, because I had no other options. But it happened to turn out to be a great movie and a great character! [Laughs] And from there to have everyone we’ve worked with over the last 10 years and now to have James [McAvoy], Jennifer [Lawrence], Michael [Fassbender], and Nick [Hoult], and this incredible cast. It really is, every day is a treat. And to play a character I love — to me this story is pretty epic and pretty extraordinary. When I first heard about it, I was filming Wolverine, and I thought maybe… And the moment I heard the pitch for this, I thought this is going to be brilliant and there’s no way I’m missing out. And I answered 18 more questions than you asked me — I’m sorry!
Anyhoo, Collura’s interview continues for another page and a half, follow the link at the bottom for the whole thing.
As for when Jackman is hanging up or handing down his claws, sideburns, and stogie–it’s tough to say: A sequel to James Mangold‘s The Wolverine IS apparently in the works, so Hugh will end his career as Wolvie with at least 9 portrayals of the character under his belt.
Rumors that Jackman has been offered outrageous sums of money to continue playing Wolverine are just that–RUMORS.