Ever since the first time we got to see Hugh Jackman (The Prestige, Prisoners, and Chappie) pop his claws in X-Men, fans have been asking the obvious question: where’s his iconic yellow costume? It has been referred to and even shown in a short scene at one point over Jackman’s career as the Weapon X, but he has never worn it. With Logan‘s release just around the corner, we may have finally learned why the original costume for Wolverine just doesn’t work thanks to comments by the film’s director.
James Mangold (Walk the Line, The Wolverine, and Girl, Interrupted), the writer and director for Logan was recently asked why he thought the costume never made it to screen in the many adaptations Jackman has played Wolverine:
I always feel a certain contingent of fans who are yearning for it. But the biggest block I’ve had – I’m willing to take the heat for it – is that, I can never get past, being a writer for these movies as well, that Logan is the least narcissistic of all the superheroes, any kind I can think of – Marvel, DC or anywhere else. What I mean by that is, who puts a special branded outfit on when they do good deeds? And why? The only reason you do it is so you can have some sort of trademarked claim and get credit for what you did. Nothing seems less Wolverine-like than the desire to put on a trademarked outfit , particularly canary yellow, and kind of prance about doing good deeds and have people go, “Oh my God! It’s The Wolverine!” At least the Wolverine, as I see him, that’s a real struggle for me and always has been. I somehow feel that if somehow we ever put Hugh [Jackman] into one of those outfits, people would not be happy. Essentially, it’s something that lives on the page and I’m not sure could live anywhere else.
Mangold’s comment makes a lot of sense when you think about why comic book characters wear costumes in the first place. On the one hand, it’s a marketable design that the publishers can mass-produce into toys, books, and other media. On the other hand, when the possibility arises to have dozens and even hundreds of different artists drawing the same character over the years, it becomes easier to differentiate them from book to book no matter who is drawing them.
When it comes to comic books, having that iconic yellow costume makes a lot of sense. A lot of different people have drawn Wolverine over the years. When it comes to film, Hugh Jackman looks like Hugh Jackman and he is easily identified and associated with the character he has played for years.
Logan was directed by James Mangold from a screenplay by Michael Green (Green Lantern, Everwood, and Heroes) and Scott Frank (Minority Report, The Wolverine, and The Lookout). The film is slated for a March 3rd release date in the United States and will be Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as the character.