With Logan, actor Hugh Jackman completed his ninth time playing the character of Wolverine on the big screen. What began as a breakout role in 2000’s X-Men—with controversial casting to boot—quickly morphed into the definitive X-Men performance and one of the most memorable superhero portrayals in history. Through both the X-Men franchise and the standalone Wolverine movies, Jackman has tried to bring the character to life in the most accurate, fully fledged way possible, and he and director James Mangold succeeded with this spring’s surprising and emotional Logan.
However, while Jackman’s tenure with the character is now at an end, it doesn’t mean there still aren’t Wolverine stories he wants to see on the screen. Recently I got the chance to speak with Jackman in anticipation of the release of Logan on Digital HD and Blu-ray (it’s on Digital HD now and Blu-ray starting May 23rd), and during our conversation we talked about Liev Schrieber’s performance as Sabretooth. There’s a deleted scene on the Logan Blu-ray in which Wolverine mentions his brother, but I asked Jackman if there was ever a version of the script where Sabretooth actually appeared:
“Jim and I did talk about it. For my money, he was the best thing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I thought Ryan made a lot out of his bit for it. I was always like ‘That would be so cool’ and the original script for X-Men Origins was a much smaller movie. We were sort of toying with the idea, in a way, of what we ended up doing with Logan—it was going to be a movie about these two brothers. Then different circumstances came in and the movie all of a sudden became twice the size, we had a big release date, and it was all of that. So that never happened, and I had harbored that all along and of course Jim and I worked with Liev on Kate & Leopold, so we did talk about it it was just ‘How the hell do we do it?’”
Then Jackman remembered on the spot there was a brief period where Sabretooth was physically in a script for Logan:
“Oh no there was a script stage. There was a story point where they go to Vegas, you know how they go to the Oklahoma casino? They go there and at this point Sabretooth is running like a major casino and really, really wealthy, and really kind of runs a town, and sort of respectable in a way but is still himself. That idea was thrown around, I forgot about that.”
It doesn’t sound like the idea lasted too long as Jackman and Mangold had enough moving pieces to juggle around, but this would have been a nice contrast between how Logan and Victor’s lives had turned out, with Logan kind of at the end of his rope.
Jackman continued, listing off a few other things he always wanted to do in the Wolverine franchise but for one reason or another just didn’t work out:
“There were a couple of things I couldn’t work out how to do. Fans always say, ‘When are we gonna see you in the blue and yellow spandex? We’ve gotta see that shot!’ We tried a little bit in The Wolverine, it didn’t happen—on that plane at the end he opens up a box and there’s the suit, I think that ended up getting cut. So the suit was one thing but we just couldn’t work out how to do it, so if anyone can work that out you go for it. The other idea that I always loved was the idea in the comics that every year on Logan’s birthday, his brother comes and beats the crap out of him. I just thought that was such a cool very fun idea and very in keeping to those characters. His birthday present was just a beating and that’s the only time he sees him (laughs). I kept saying, ‘Jim can we put that in?’ and he goes ‘Eh this is not that movie.’ But anyway.”