When most Marvel fans think of Wolverine, they can’t help but think back to Hugh Jackman’s longstanding portrayal of the mutant with animal-keen senses and retractable claws in each hand. But now, Disney is looking to replace Jackman with a newer and younger actor to take his place.
Jackman has portrayed Wolverine in the blockbuster “X-Men” film series since 2000, up until he said goodbye to the character in 2017 in “Logan.” And now, comicbook.com reports that the “X-Men” franchises’ producer Lauren Shuler Donner says Disney is looking to replace him with a younger actor as Jackman physically can no longer do it.
In a recent Television Critics Association panel, Donner discussed the major physical toll the role had on Jackman, which is part of the reason Disney is looking to cast a younger actor as the lead role. “This man worked so hard to bulk up, would get up at four in the morning to bulk and eat protein meals every two hours because his natural state, they used to call him Worm when he was a kid. So his natural state is a very skinny guy. Once you reach a certain age, the body just won’t go anymore. I think he was wise to say, ‘I’m at that point. I can’t do it.’ Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t come back as older Wolverine. You never know. Future Wolverine, you never know.”
For fans who are wondering if this new Wolverine could see a cameo in one of Disney’s Marvel films, the possibility is there. Last year, Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President, spoke on Variety’s Playback Podcast about what Disney’s merger with Fox could mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Specifically, Feige told Variety he had not been given the go to start integrating Fox-owned characters just yet but had been told: “It’s looking very, very good and could happen in the first six months of next year (2019).” Feige has not since spoken on the merging of Fox and Disney-owned Marvel characters since this podcast.
It’s not yet known what methods Disney will go about when seeking a new Wolverine, which Donner also spoke on during the Television Critics Association panel. “I don’t know what Kevin’s thinking honestly. I don’t even think Kevin knows…I think Kevin’s still dealing with this wealth of characters and trying to make sense of them.”