Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine since 2000 and appeared on screen as the character six times with his seventh go-round coming up in X-Men: Days of Future Past. At this point, fans have started to wonder how much longer he wants to play the character, not because they’re tired of him in the role, but because A) he might want to move on to something else; and B) Wolverine doesn’t really age, and staying in peak physical condition is harder at 45 than it is at 31.
Jackman has previously been evasive about how much longer he’ll play Wolverine, but in a recent interview, the actor said he’s looking to permanently retract the claws after the next solo Wolverine movie. Hit the jump for more.
We previously reported that 20th Century Fox has set The Wolverine sequel for March 3, 2017 with David James Kelly writing the script, James Mangold returning to direct, and Jackman set to star, although he told SFX, “I haven’t signed on signed on. I’m genuinely at that point where unless it’s better than the last one I’m not going to do it.” SFX asked Jackman where he wanted to see Logan go in the movie, and he responded [emphasis mine]:
I don’t know yet. We’re talking it through. I still am very ambitious for the character. And tonally I feel like we corrected the ship with the last one. But I feel we can still go further, in a way. If I did another one I’m 99.9% sure it would be the last, so that will inform what it is for me.
As for the specifics, Jackman says they’ll probably take it out of Japan and “move it to a different visual palette”, and jokingly mentioned the comic Old Man Logan as an inspiration (the book positions Logan as cross between a “Man with No Name” and a ronin in a post-apocalyptic America; the comic isn’t as good as it sounds). But he’s eager to see what the filmmakers can come up with. But it has to be at least better than The Wolverine; meeting the bar of the mutant’s previous solo film isn’t good enough:
If the script is as good? Hm. I don’t know if that will get me across the line, man. I think it has to be better. I can still see where we can improve on the last one. I love the intimacy of that story, I liked the small stuff, I liked that it was a little unexpected. I don’t want to get into specifics, because it just upsets people, but there are certain parts of that story where I felt we were predictable. And I don’t think you need to do that with Wolverine. What’s exciting is that you can make it a more interior story, and people actually prefer that. And that was good to show and convince everyone – especially everyone who greenlights the movies!
It’s not surprising that Jackman wants to go out on a high note, so the real question is how much of a sure thing is The Wolverine 2? He seems eager to do it, and Fox has the release date, but he hasn’t “signed on signed on,” and his hesitance is understandable. He’s a lead character in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and would that be enough of a farewell? Personally, I think he’ll give the fans one more “snikt”.