Kevin Feige Tried To Keep Hugh Jackman Out of MCU, Report Says

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Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige tried to keep Wolverine and Hugh Jackman out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite the overwhelming popularity of the character both on and off screen.

Kevin Feige in a Captain Marvel hat in front of the Deadpool & Wolverine logo
Credit: Edited by Inside The Magic

Hugh Jackman first portrayed Wolverine, AKA Logan, AKA Weapon X, AKA James Howlett, in X-Men (2000), kicking off what has come to be recognized as one of the most iconic performances as a comic book character in cinematic history. Ironically, Jackman was a last-minute replacement for Dougray Scott, who was originally cast as the grizzled hero and was forced to bow out due to contractual conflicts.

Related: ‘Deadpool’ To Be Reshot After Details of “Mind-Blowing” Post-Credits Scene Emerge: Report

Wolverine screaming with light shining on his face
Credit: 20th Century

Since then, Hugh Jackman has been Wolverine in movies both good, like X2 (2003), and uh, less so, like, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). The Australian actor became one of the few consistent actors in the entire 2oth Century Fox X-Men series and, for a time, held the Guinness Book of World Record for “Longest career as a live-action Marvel character” before being deposed by his frequent co-star Patrick Stewart.

Hugh Jackman most recently portrayed Wolverine in Logan (2017), the critically acclaimed James Mangold film presented as his final performance as the hero. For a time, it seemed that an era was over and audiences were both saddened and relieved to see the actor (and character) go out on a high note.

Hugh Jackman crying in Logan
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Then, Ryan Reynolds came knocking and Hugh Jackman agreed to reprise the character for the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine, which will bring both title characters out of the Fox franchise and into the MCU. Although Marvel Studios really, really needs a win right now, Kevin Feige says he was against the idea of bringing the actor back.

In a recent interview with Empire, Kevin Feige says that he actively discouraged Hugh Jackman from joining Deadpool 3, though not exactly because he wanted to stick it to Ryan Reynolds. Instead, he felt that his swan song in Logan had been too perfect to try to retroactively change. Feige says, “I said, ‘Let me give you a piece of advice, Hugh. Don’t come back. You had the greatest ending in history with Logan. That’s not something we should undo.’”

Apparently, Kevin Feige was somewhat mollified by the idea that the Logan we see fighting alongside Wade Wilson in Deadpool & Wolverine is a Multiversal Variant of the hero, and not the same one from the 2017 film, which is a nice loophole. Given that Feige, as the robotic mastermind of the MCU, needed to be on board for this, it’s a good thing someone thought of that.

Wolverine and Deadpool stand in the middle of a deserted street, dressed in their superhero costumes, with a damaged pharmacy and debris in the background.
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Hugh Jackman says that he was similarly cautious about returning as the character and took a long drive to mull things over. He says, “I was about an hour into the drive, and that question came into my head: ‘What do I want to do?’ And as soon as I asked the question, I wanted to do Deadpool & Wolverine. I just knew it. I drove for another hour. Couldn’t stop thinking about it. And I got out of the car, called Ryan [Reynolds], and said, ‘Ryan, if you’ll have me, I’m in.’”

It is unknown whether the Hugh Jackman version of Wolverine will survive past the events of the upcoming movie, or whether he will be replaced with a younger, more cost-effective version played by Taron Egerton, Daniel Radcliffe, or some unknown actor. But that’ll probably be up to Kevin Feige to decide.

Deadpool & Wolverine stars Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Emma Corrin, Morena Baccarin, Rob Delaney, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, and Matthew Macfadyen. It is directed by Shawn Levy from a screenplay he co-wrote with Reynolds, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Zeb Wells. It is scheduled for release in American theaters on June 26.

Who (other than Wolverine) do you want to see return in Deadpool & Wolverine? Tell us in the comments below!

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