Many a cry went out from comic book fans everywhere when we learned that Hugh Jackman’s upcoming portrayal of Wolverine would be his last. The actor has defined the role since 2000 in Bryan Singer’s first X-Men film. It’s hard to believe that Jackman has been Wolverine for 16 years. That’s far longer than anyone has held onto a single character in other major franchises like James Bond. Jackman defines the character and for many is Wolverine, with the actor being all that an entire generation of teenagers has ever known.
Throughout eight different films, Jackman has been the the one constant beacon of quality throughout them all. Even during the god-awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine, you could look at someone with a straight face and say, “at least Hugh Jackman was great.” Of course he was. He’s always great. But now Jackman will unsheathe his claws for the last time as he wraps up a long and fruitful relationship with the character.
We already showed you the first sneak peek at the film and are praying that the final product is as good as the trailer. The bleak preview of the movie shows a battered Wolverine and a very old Professor X on the run in a world where mutants are a rare breed. And it was all set to the mournful sounds of Johnny Cash covering Nine Inch Nails “Hurt.” If the amazing trailer wasn’t enough to make you at least cautiously optimistic you might be beyond saving.
Perhaps the biggest reveal in the trailer was the introduction of X-23. For those that don’t know, X-23 (the little girl in the preview) is the female clone-daughter of Wolverine (don’t ask) and could signify some big changes happening to the X-Men movie universe. In the comics, she has taken on the mantle of Wolverine herself barring the absence of Logan and that could be what 20th Century Fox plans to do with the character now that Jackman is leaving.
A batch of fresh storyboards that were recently released firmly stay in line with the look and feel of the trailer and things are looking good for director James Mangold’s Western-tinged finale for everyone’s favorite Canadian killing machine. Mangold also directed the well received remake of 3:10 to Yuma so the Old West theme is definitely well within the director’s comfort zone. Also of note is the inclusion of composer Cliff Martinez, perhaps best known for his collaborations with Nicolas Windig Refn on movies such as Drive and The Neon Demon.
There was once a time that Wolverine was one of the most popular characters in all of comics and he’s still far and away the most recognizable X-Man today. There’s a reason that he’s the only member of the group to get his own movie and also the only one to receive his own video game. His popularity was so huge in the ’90s that he continues to enjoy a fair amount of name recognition with adult audiences today. This is much of the reason why the X-Men character is the main attraction of his own slot machine that replaces the usual reel icons with Wolverine and his greatest enemies. The game is one of many that banks on the continued popularity of comic characters in order to appeal to fans and speaks to the clout of Logan today. We hope that Marvel will be kind of enough to grace us with one final Wolverine game for Logan as well, but we’re not going to get our hopes up too high. The last solo game for the cha racter was X-Men Origins: Wolverine back in 2009.
In the meantime, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for the new movie and we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out if Logan can live up to our lofty expectations. Logan is due for a March 23, 2017 release so you have about six months to get your goodbyes in order.