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Life After Logan: How Fox Can Cope With Losing Hugh Jackman

Reboot

X-Men film fans had better cherish every minute of screen time Hugh Jackman has in this month’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, because they could be among the actor’s final moments as Wolverine. According to Jackman, he’s pretty sure the next Wolverine solo film will be his last.

“I still am very ambitious for the character,” Jackman explained to SFX. “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 percent sure it would be the last, so that will inform what it is for me.” Those words most likely sent shivers up the spines of every exec over at Fox, as Wolverine’s been the glue holding nearly every X-Men film together. Seriously, Jackman’s appeared in every single X-Men film to date, an accomplishment that no other X-actor can claim. Without Wolverine, what can the franchise do?

Recast

Recast

Recasting seems like the most obvious choice, and bigger name heroes have been able to pull off the switch before. Batman, Superman and Spider-Man have all gone through at least one change, and almost none of those changes have been met with box office disaster (critical and fan reactions have been mixed, though). Fox could pull off a similar feat with Wolverine, but one could argue that recasting Logan’s a bit harder than recasting Batman. The character himself has a much more unified and iconic look, one that’s much more distinguished than those other “dudes with dark brown or black hair” that lurk under the masks. They really hit a home run with Jackman – but then again, Jackman didn’t look the part until he grew out his sideburns and paid a visit to the comic book barbershop.

Reboot

Reboot

Fans might be able to handle Wolverine’s recasting if it goes hand-in-hand with every other character getting recast. This might be an even better option, as the X-Men film franchise becomes more and more burdened with heavy time-traveling continuity. The jury’s still out as to whether or not the time twisting X-Men: Days of Future Past will clear matters up or just leave audiences scratching their heads, but if the latter turns out to be true, Fox might be wise to punch the reset button. A new Wolverine alongside a new Storm, Cyclops, Rogue and the rest would easily deflect attention away from Jackman’s lack of involvement.

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Believe it or not, the X-Men are more than just Wolverine. There are plenty of other characters that can sustain solo films, and deserve the chance to do so. The Wolverine proved that a small, character-driven story with a comparatively modest budget can still entertain and bring in the big bucks worldwide. This filmmaking method could easily be applied to characters like Deadpool, Gambit and Storm – characters that possess either rabid fanbases or valuable name recognition. A Gambit film starring Channing Tatum and made for under $100 million would definitely make its money back, as long as the movie’s good. And if Fox wants to keep tapping into Wolverine’s fanbase and possibly target the powerful Hunger Games audience, they should consider turning X-23 into a movie star.

Make Spinoffs

Spinoffs

With an X-Force film possibly on the way, Fox might be smart to just take a hard right into Spinoffsville. The Marvel Studios films have had wild success placing their comic book super heroes into different film genres, and Fox could mimic that successful formula; they already did it once with the ’60s spy movie flavored First Class. They could tackle teen angst with an Academy X film, they could make a dark comedy like X-Factor, they could go all Fast and Furious with X-Force. The options are endless, and the X-Men movies don’t have to stick with the same bleak tone.

Make X-Men movies

X-Men Movies

This might be a radical idea for Fox, but it is possible to make X-Men team movies without Hugh Jackman and Wolverine on board. There are plenty of great characters that have been shoved to the sidelines in order to make room for Jackman’s star-making turn as the clawed Canadian, and it’s time for those heroes to get off the bench. Gambit, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, Storm, Jubilee, Longshot, Archangel, Colossus and Cable all have potential that has yet to be realized – or even attempted – on film. It would take a great script – one that pays attention to character details – and a competent director, but the X-Men can survive without Wolverine. Fox just needs to try.

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Comments

  • Alex

    I got an even better idea. How about Fox sell off the property for a massive lumpsum back to where it belongs to Marvel.

  • Monaco

    Jackman is a fine and very versatile actor and can handle other major projects for FOX. Maybe it is time for him to try other roles even if within the same action movies genre …or drama as he has proven in Prisoners or even musicals like he showed in Les Miserables. He does have a wide fanbase that enjoys not just superhero movies but also a wide variety of genres.

  • mel

    Or just hire Marvel Studios to make the movie and FOX releases and distributes it. Everybody wins.

  • Jacob

    Maybe when comic book Wolverine comes back to life he will look really different for some reason. Then Fox could recast and still be “true” to the comic.

  • ertg

    Get Zack Efron started on this now and you’ll have your Wolverine for years to come.

  • chained captive

    They should explore the spin-off ideas, I would love to see an X-Force with Cable, Domino, Colosus, Psylocke and others.

  • Hudat

    Or they play out the Death of Wolverine in the comics then the movies. Focus on the team and other characters for a year or two then bring him back, along with the comic Wolvie, recast.

  • Pinhead

    Recasting Jackman will be much tougher than they did with Batman, Spidey and Superman, because after Wolverine 3, he would have been in 8 X-Men movies, which is almost the triple than Bale as Batman and Maguire as Spidey. Only Reeves comes close with 4 Sups movies, but still Jackman doubles him!

  • kevinjwoods

    Or some of those very well paid producers and executives could realise how many other major movie stars (halle berry, jennifer lawrence, ryan reynolds, michael fassbender, etc) they have had in the X series who might possibly consider accepting money to appear in their own movie.
    And taking a break from Wolverine for a while would make it easier to recast him or failing that negotiate with the UN to offer HJ a small country if he signs on for another movie.

  • Tina Kolesnik

    You had me until you mentioned Channing Tatum. Sorry, it boggles the mind how this man still gets work. 0_0

  • lewis4510

    I think the best idea is to recast everybody with a complete reboot and this time make it more of a ensemble piece. Ultimately First Class was a wasted opportunity to do just that but they tied it to real historical events making it a odd ball period piece/James Bond knock off. Fox executives got spooked when it didn’t perform as well as they thought it would, so they threw stupid money at Jackman to get him to re-up. If FC had been a bigger hit they would have probably recasted at that point.

  • Andres

    Hey X-Men: First class doesn’t have Wolverine is a pretty good movie. I really can see the X-Men Franchise without Wolverine.

  • Lon Gunderwear

    Jackman cameos in First Class

  • Andres

    yup, bit he didnt have a fundamentla role at all, the bad-asses of that movie were, Magneto and Charles Xavier.

  • Charles Veiman

    The whole X-men films were actually Wolverine spinoffs disguised as Xmen movies. I love Jackman as an actor and his representation of wolverine will be the one to match in remakes to come, but I feel they wrecked the Xmen movies just to focus on Logan.

  • Charles Veiman

    The problem with first class is that it featured few of the actual first class members such as beast, aside from that Fox continued its streak of getting the characters wrong; such as Havock which was supposed to be Scotts younger brother and which in the movie doesnt appear to even be related.

  • Masked Man Issue 1

    That’s funny, because the X-men *movies* are not the only ones with his problem, the same basic rules could be applied to the X-men *comic books*.

    I think this will be the toughest recasting job of a comic book hero ever (maybe tied only with Christopher Reeve). That said, I always thought that the logical choice for a replacement was already out there:

    http://www.themonolith.com/wp-content/uploads/Jim-Carrey-Ace-Wolverine.png

  • stvnhthr

    What about putting Wolverine in costume? I think he wears one in the comics. That would make a transition to a new actor less glaring. Or cast a Jackman double and just have Hugh film the unmasked scenes which would amount to little more than a cameo.

  • Ruby Vale

    (sorry for the bad English, I’m French !). If Fox wants to go on with the Xmen franchise (because they definitely won’t give it back to Marvel/Disney), the better choice is to reboot with new actors and to make à new team with both Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine and so on. The present franchise can’t go on without Jackman as Wolverine. And I am convinced that this character can’t exist in a dedicated movie without HJ. You guys are fond of comics but there is one thing to be awared of: Wolverine as played by Hugh Jackman made every women from 17 to 60 years old enjoy the hairy grunpy mutant with adamantium claws. With Hugh, nothing will ever be the same.

  • Jonathan Alan

    Easy solution. Bring X-23 into the film-verse. Establish her in X-Force. Give her a solo origin film (target X/Innocence lost), and then put her in the X-Men films. (Bonus points if they manage to do an Academy X TV show that she can cameo on!) This lets them build on the legacy of wolverine without having to recast, and alters the paradigm as well as gives many more new stories to be told.

  • Chuck777

    Wolverine’s outfit is a bit… Weird looking when seen in real life (compared to Batman, Spider-Man or Superman). Look at Cap, he looks pretty goofy with his helmet/mask on. You don’t want to make Wolverine look goofy.

  • Chuck777

    RDJ will present a similar problem to Marvel when they go to re-cast Iron Man.

    RDJ will have been Stark in 3 Iron Man movies and 3 Avengers movies by the end of his contract.

    Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth will also being the same boat but their representations of the characters are less iconic than RDJ as Iron Man or Jackman as Wolverine (at least IMO).

  • Chuck777

    The lumpsum would pale in comparison to the billions Fox could make off the X-Men franchise in the coming decades.

  • bandoogiemanz

    Light bulb goes off!!! AHA!!!!

  • JoãoZinhodas9inha

    that’s actually a great idea,not too many people in the internet have logical thinking like that,although i suppose they should introduce her to the x-verse and put her in academy x only. then,in an x-force sequel/spin-off,she would be already well established in the x-verse and it would give them room for a new mutant-esque team in the first x-force,just like the comics

  • baldy

    Overreacting a bit aren’t we. Its Skrullervine. They will find a suitable replace actor like they did with Spiderman. And by far, Spiderman is more popular than Rogaine

  • SageShinigami

    You killed Scott. You killed Jean. Now Logan wants to quit. Fortunately you got Xavier and Magneto, so I guess you COULD keep going if you wanted. But if by any chance you lose Halle Berry doing Storm, just suck it up and reboot. Plus does Anna Paquin even do Rogue anymore?

    I get that we can do a universe that gives spotlight to minor characters. But doing one around ALL minor characters means eventually most people are going to ask for a reboot just because they want their favorites back.

  • Rachele

    It would be crazy to recast Mcavoy and Fassbender. Use them with some of the other members of the team, give Wolverine a rest for awhile.

  • Alex Isaac Aronowicz

    Our just have sentinels kill all of the xmen so we don’t have to listen to their whining anymore.

  • demoncat_4

    or after hugh jackman is done they just give back the rights to dismarvel and let them do x-men films where wolverine is not part of the team like dead or gone on a solo mission and let them do the recasting thing for the role that is going to happen .

  • PietroMaximoff

    spinoffs!
    or reboot the franchise.. which sadly will hurt comic book movies more & more, they way it’s hurting Spider-Man right now.
    mainstream audiences get really confused, trust me

  • http://www.culturewarreporters.com/ CultureWarReporterEvan

    Channing Tatum has some excellent comedic chops. Serious roles aren’t for him, but I’ll watch him in basically any comedy flick.

  • WVUchris

    WTB more Nightcrawler and Gambit, hell even a real x men movie, not a wolverine with the xmen type movies. I never got a feeling in the previous 3 movies Cyclopes was taken serious, considering he was the leader of the xmen

  • WVUchris

    I agree with this, however I’d like to see them actually use the original first class from the comics then some of the ones they used. Problem is how can you add ice man to the movie when they had bobbie as a teenager in the other movies. Would like to see the original first class be int he movie for the first class ya know

  • WVUchris

    Absolutely, there is no doubt that’s what they went for lol. Cyclopes is the leader of the x men, and he had how many lines in all the movies he was in, like 5 total lol? The most Storm talked was that awful line of what a frog does when stuck by lightning? Why in the hell did they not keep using nightcrawler, the actor that played him was fantastic!!!

  • Patrick Keely

    Take a look at X-Men Evolution or Ultimate X-Men. Wolverine was heavily involved with both those teams, but the best stories in those were ones that were absent. You could easily use a line up similar (Cyclops, Jean, Beast (which he could still be the older Beast and could be a teacher to the students) Colossus, Storm, Iceman, Kitty Pryde). This team could easily do a movie or two and have wonderful adventures.

  • Peter Parker

    I like that two of the suggestions are basically focus on other X-Men.

  • sarapalin14

    What about sending the animal pig pedophile Jew singer inside the gas chamber and then banning any dirty animal pig Jew into any xmen movie?

  • Spyder

    How about you go goose step off a bridge. Even if Singer is found to be guilty of a crime which he hasn’t yet that doesn’t make it ok to go all third reich on here. Go spread your hate to your single digit IQ friends

  • darksparkimus

    Daken, X-23 and Jimmie Hudson(Current Ultimate Wolverine) could all work well if they had to kill off Jackman’s Wolverine.

  • WarrenWII

    totally agree. Its time to really use, develop and expand the x-men characters, this is not Wolverine’s universe, its X-Men universe, with more than 50 years of history, so… time to really make them justice on the movie.
    They have a talented cast, two casts to be exact, so… its time to change their limited formula.

  • Greeb0

    These comic book movies are out of Effing control and need to stop…or get better…

  • Mohit Kumar

    Wow! That’s one great choice.. Now that I think about it I think he can really pull off. Besides he is no more a disney boy but a serious hunk with interest in variety of roles.

  • sarapalin14

    Hate? no hate just sharing the US opinions about the animal dirty jews!

  • Erick Dimaggio

    man agree, please give Marvel back to the owners already, it’s long overdue at this point.

  • Erick Dimaggio

    dude who plays the new superman (I forget his name) looks crazy wolverine-ish in one of his beginning scenes

  • Spyder

    Oh please try sharing that view in a public place instead of hiding behind a computer. And don’t pretend you aren’t using Jew as if its some kind of insult.

  • Jay

    Jimmy Hudson or Daken takes up the mantle of Wolverine after the death of the original.

  • Kyle McGrath

    First Class also made the least amount of money of all the X-Men films save the original, despite being a better film. It even made less than both the Wolverine solo films.

  • Roxtaf

    While i also agree with Alex about getting the rights back home to marvel. I like the ideas in the article aswell.
    As much as i love Wolverine, many other mutants could realy use some attention. And it would be fitting once Wolverine is done on the throne soon :)

  • sarapalin14

    I don’t have to. Most people are starting to realize Hitler was right about sending all those dirty jews to the gas chambers. Hey pls go and visit France. I heard the french has a thing for crusting dirty pizza jew lol

  • PatriciaO

    That would be both brilliant and awesome

  • PatriciaO

    Yeah, while he’s “the face of Wolverine” – HJ’s interpretation of his character changed the way he was even written in the comics. Does anyone remember how many people he violently killed in the comic books? I think Cyclops has a much more interesting transformation in the comic books and even deserves his own solo movie. Whereas Wolverine became sort of a ninny in the past few years, Cyclops became a total badass – and who doesn’t want to see a disenchanted, and pragmatic leader?