This the end of an era.
After 16 years of being the best there is at what he does, Hugh Jackman is hanging up his Wolverine claws. Jackman states some time ago that this would be his last turn as the amnesiac badass with a heart of gold but suspicions were confirmed the other day when Jackman posted a badass image of himself as Logan on Twitter, enshrouded in shadow, single claw bared alonside the hashtag #OneLastTime
Jackman also posed the question to fans, what did they want to see from the much loved Australian thesp this last time around?
Now that got me thinking…
Way back in the year 2000 one of Marvel’s most popular franchises, the X-Men, made the leap to the big screen at a time when comic book movies has started to flag in popularity due to such polished turds as Spawn and Batman and Robin. The film was resounding success and has paved the way for the golden age of comic book movies we enjoy today. A key to the film’s success was the tall, dark and ruggedly handsome actor playing the film’s 5’3″ Canadian lead.
Audiences the world over fell in love with Jackman and it’s not hard to see why. He’s left such an indelible impression it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role.
But if this is really his last Hurrah, here are the Top 10 things I would like to see…
10. A New Locale.
The X-men comics are choc-a-bloc with interesting and unique locales from The Savage Land; (a prehistoric jungle populated with dinosaurs and its own indigenous races hidden deep under the Antarctic (Now who wouldn’t want to see Wolverine take down T-Rex am I right?) to Genosha; an African nation where mutants are used and controlled as a commodity (Marvel’s allegory for slavery & later for apartheid) until Magneto took over of course.
Speaking of The Master Of Magnetism what about his own space station Asteroid M ? What would the U.N. think of that floating above them? Murderworld? The Morlock Tunnels? The Shi’ar Empire? I know not all these might not gel with Wolverine’s franchise (and who knows what the rights clusterfuck would allow) but they would be cool to see in future movies such as New Mutants, X-Force or even Gambit.
9. A Liev Schreiber/Victor Creed/Sabretooth Return.
Now X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not the greatest comic book movie but one thing they did perfectly was redeem the character of Sabretooth who initially appeared in the original 2000 X-Men film played by wrestler Tyler Mane but was given no depth, no characterisation or even a hint of any prior knowledge of Wolverine. In X-Men Origins, however, the relationship is wonderfully realised and the performance from Schreiber is devilishly good as he revels in the ultra-violence and sadistic nature of the character that dark mirror image of Wolverine, a Wolverine who has given in to his animal urges. The moments that Jackman and Schreiber share are easily the best in the film and their chemistry is undeniable. Even if it’s a cameo or flashback I would like some clawsure.
8. Feral Wolverine.
In the press for every X-Film Jackman says ‘this time you’re going to see Wolverine really cut loose’ but I still don’t think we have. Not really-full-on-loosing-his-shit-beserker-rage. In the comic books there are various times where he becomes totally feral and animalistic and has to be brought round to his senses by someone more soberly minded. It’s a common theme in his character on the page (and even in animation) but we’ve never seen that portrayed properly in film.
7. A Harder Cut.
This brings me to my next point, Deadpool recently was granted a Rated R certificate in the states (that will more than likely make it an 18 over here). In the last few X-Men films they have also thrown in the the occasional sexual swearword in 12A films. Now for years fans have craved for an adult Wolverine film with more dismemberment and bloodletting, however 20th Century Fox would be very unlikely to do this as it would half the number of tickets sales. The only reason I think Deadpool has been given its rating is that it is on a much smaller budget and a new character so less of a risk. With decent sales of Bryan Singer’s recent X Men : Days of Future Past-Rogue Cut, perhaps Fox will save some of the fruitier scenes for a special edition Blu-Ray?
6. Wolverine Origins (Complete Comic Book Series).
A couple of months ago I shot through this series (50+ issues) in the space of two weeks and fount it to be quite simply the best Wolverine series ever. Written by Daniel Way the series starts off with Wolverine cured of his memory loss and remembering his entire long-lived life. Now that alone is a film right there. But the series takes every section of Wolverine’s life, every story ever written about and ties it all together in this impressive epic. With this knowledge Wolverine hunts down everyone to ever wrong him but also has to face the fact that he may be worse than villainous mastermind he hunts the shadowy puppet master known as Romulus, who has been manipulating Logan even before he was born. Romulus would help tie all the films together in nice package.
In the pages of the abovementioned series, Wolverine discovers that the child he thought had died in his wife’s womb after she was shot not only survived, but has been brainwashed & trained to kill his own father by Romulus. Daken (which is Japanese for mongrel) is a truly sadistic mastermind and more than a match for his father with his own set of claws and pheromone powers. Despite all this Wolverine still doesn’t want his son to turn out like him and wants to save him even though Daken would sooner separate daddy dearest’s head from his shoulders. A wonderful conflict to put on screen.
Go on, you know you want to? Both hard to kill, heal instantly, one the stoic type the other a complete blabber mouth. Could be a fight for the ages… Especially with some nudge-wink third wall breaking references to their previous match up on film!
3. Old Man Logan. (Storyline)
Remember Clint Eastwood’s Western masterpiece The Unforgiven? Now imagine that Eastwood’s character was Wolverine. Rumour has it that this is what the film may be based on.
The seminal story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future American wasteland where all the villains won and the most of the heroes have died. Logan has settled down raised a family and tried to forget about his superheroing days until trouble turns up at his door. I believe this would be a wonderful way for Jackman to end his role. The only problem with the story is it is very entrenched in the Marvel Universe featuring appearances from everyone from Hawkeye to Venom… but substitute a few X-Men characters and it’s a rights infringement friendly winner.
In the current comics continuity Wolverine is dead and about to be replaced by his female clone X-23. I think that most people perceive him as an un-killable character and he needs to face his mortality in some form. Wolverine is the face of the X-Men franchise but I think if Jackman is moving on then maybe Fox should too. I believe if they cast Cable with a formidable actor he could be the new face of the franchise or perhaps Daken or X-23 could take the lead.
To quote Bullseye from Daredevil…
‘I want a fucking costume!’
I know he doesn’t need one, but why not eh? Especially since the alternate ending to The Wolverine featured Logan receiving the familiar black and yellow duds as a gift.
Wolverine & The X-men (Comic Book Series), Enemy Of The State (Storyline), Omega Red, Cyber, Mr. Sinister, Alpha Flight, Reavers, Mojo