With Logan now playing in cinemas across the globe, the realisation is finally dawning on people that they will no longer be seeing Hugh Jackman as fan-favourite Marvel mutant Wolverine. Jackman began his time with the character when Twentieth Century Fox, along with director Bryan Singer, brought the X-Men to the silver screen. The film was a pivotal title in the rise in popularity of the comic book superhero genre, and a crucial stepping stone to the creation of movies such as Spider-Man (2002), Batman Begins (2005) and Iron Man (2008), to name a few.
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Jackman had been working in theatre for a period before being cast in the role of Logan/Wolverine in 1999. The role was originally given to Dougray Scott, who, due to scheduling conflicts, was forced to step down from the part while the casting directors’ second choice, Jackman, took over. Fast forward 17 years and it’s hard to picture anybody else in the role.
In X-Men, audiences were introduced to the feral mutant, who during the opening scenes of the movie joins with Anna Paquin’s Rogue as she flees from her home in the struggle to deal with her dangerous powers. The two were accepted by the mutants living and working at Xavier’s school, and recruited into the X-Men team, comprised of Professor X, Jean Grey, Cyclops and storm. The group were called into action as the human hating Magneto looked to turn the world’s politicians into mutants.
Following the huge, unexpected, success of the first film, Jackman’s Wolverine went on to become the franchise’s tentpole character, appearing in nine movies altogether. In a new featurette, courtesy of JoBlo, the 48-year-old’s time as the character is remembered:
Jackman himself takes the opportunity to thank the fans for their continued support, and to explain how the part has affected his career, and his life, for the best part of 20 years. His Logan director James Mangold speaks to Jackman’s work ethic, particularly regarding Logan, as someone who is always looking to go “deeper” into the character in order for audiences to be able to connect with him in some way. Long-time co-star Patrick Stewart (who reprises his role as Professor X/Charles Xavier in the film) adds:
“Wolverine and Hugh Jackman cannot now be separated. The man and the role have now merged”.
Logan marks both the end of an era for Jackman, but also the beginning of a new era for the genre, with the film having once again brought a new level of grounding and realism that builds on what Bryan Singer had originally brought to X-Men all those years ago. Arguably, the most difficult part of Jackman’s departure will be finding a replacement worthy of the title.