How Marvel Plans to Get Fans On Board With a New Wolverine (If Hugh Jackman Doesn’t Return)

Rumor has it that Kevin Feige, and all those over at Marvel Studios, are keeping the door open for Hugh Jackman to reprise Wolverine. Considering a potential X-Men appearance in the MCU remains in the distant-esque future, waiting to see if Hugh Jackman will pick up the claws once more isn’t a bad idea. 

Hugh Jackman is intimately tied to the character; after nearly two decades of playing the cigar-smoking savior with a penchant for wisecracks, the performer and the performance have become fused in fans’ minds. Thus, choosing to place Wolverine within the MCU’s landscape — without presenting Jackman’s face  — will be a risk.

Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman | Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

How will the MCU get fans on board with a Wolverine who isn’t Hugh Jackman? What will the MCU do to ease tensions surrounding the introduction, and how will the new actor — yet the same character — play into the existing timeline, without overtly overwriting what we have come to know and love about Logan? Let’s see what we know so far. It seems that Marvel would take a few steps to guarantee a smooth transition. 

1. Marvel may create a Disney+ Wolverine series, and minimize Logan’s role in the cinematic universe

If Marvel introduces a new version of Logan, via a Disney+ series, the media conglomerate will forge a separation between the new and old Wolverines as a result of the platform switch alone. While TV and cinema are permitted to intermingle — as will be the case with WandaVision and Doctor Strange — such is not an established expectation. Thus, Marvel can see how fans respond to the Disney+ series, and determine how much influence the character should have the cinematic world.

According to We Got This Covered, Marvel is toying with the idea of a Disney+ series for Wolverine. The same source who told the outlet that Tom Welling would return for “Crisis on Infinite Earths” has delivered the information. 

The outlet also confirmed that Wolverine will appear in the MCU; however, as of now, all reports indicate that his influence over the X-Men will not be as grand as Hugh Jackman’s role was. Why? A girl who has appeared alongside Jackman, receiving his character’s approval via the cinematic spectacle that was Logan, is likely set to take center stage.

2. X-23 will be vital to the MCU, as well as the reinvented X-Men

In addition to minimizing the new Wolverine’s silver screen presence — which will work to forge a separation between the two Logans — Marvel will likely choose to focus on X-23 in the cinematic space.

X-23, portrayed by Dafne Keen in Logan, is rumored to be taking center stage in the MCU when the X-Men eventually enter the picture. She will serve to “replace” Logan’s Wolverine. Given that the character already appeared in Logan, gaining his support, approval, and compassion, this is a smart move on Marvel’s part. 

Choosing Logan’s adopted daughter/clone as the next Wolverine, working from the movie Logan, which was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, may make for a smoother transition. Not to mention, she can possess her own personality, inclinations, tendencies, and mannerism, without being compared back to the incomparable Jackman. 

The question: will it all work? Will minimizing Logan’s presence in the MCU — choosing to make a Disney+ series to retain his relevance — while bringing X-23 to the center, compensate for the lack of Hugh Jackman?