Hugh Jackman has been Wolverine for a long time, having played the character in 7 films over a course of 17 years. He has left a lasting impression, that’s for sure. You could say that Jackman is, was, and forever will be the on-screen iteration of the ragin’ killing machine with claws. Except he won’t be, for much longer.
Jackman announced a while back that after Wolverine 3 (which is nearing production), he’ll be retiring from the role. Someone else will eventually come it and take up the mantle.
Though he hasn’t talked much about since he made the announcement, he did talk to a number of outlets in support of his upcoming documentary Dukale’s Dream, explaining further he’s reasoning for stepping away from the character.
When asked why he was really retiring, he gave a brief answer to ET:
“It was a gut feeling. I don’t know how many more egg white omelettes I can eat.”
He offered Huffington Post a much more substantial answer:
“There was a period about six years ago when I could see my choices being narrowed by Wolverine, but now I feel like they’ve opened up from doing ‘Les Mis’ or ‘Prisoners’ or ‘Pan.’ The options coming to me right now are more varied than they’ve ever been in my life. Hopefully, I’m not that actor in 10 years who’s unemployed going, ‘Why did I ever leave it?’ and then begging to come back.”
About his relationship with 20th Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment, he goes onto say:
“They were all really supportive, 17 years is a long time. And I’m sure that they’ve already started casting, you know? Someone may sign up for an 11-picture deal, as we speak.”
Hugh Jackman even offered some new thoughts on shooting Wolverine 3, which he is extremely excited about. He says:
“Weirdly, I’m really excited about shooting it. I feel great enthusiasm, I suppose it’s denial, like the football player who announces their retirement before their last season, and so I’m really looking forward to it. But, I know it’s not over yet! I still got a lot of 4 o’clock mornings and a hell of a lot of egg white omelets and steamed chicken to have, and all of that. I feel very blessed that I loved playing this part, the last ‘Wolverine’ and that last ‘X-Men’ [‘Days of Future Past’] were maybe two of the best and I feel like, hopefully, we’ll do it again with this last one.”
Personally, I’m one of the few people that never really completely accepted Jackman as my Wolverine. The character, at his core, is a beast trying desperately hard to find his humanity. Jackman always played it the other way around. I just never really bought him as the berserking, feral, beast of a man I knew from the comics.
Having said that, it’s sad to see that we’ll only experience one more outing with Jackman as Wolverine. Hard to imagine an X-Men cinematic universe without him. I have a feeling, though, that if the peoples at FOX keep asking him to come back, he’ll be compelled to say yes.
Wolverine 3 comes to theaters March 3rd, 2017.