The MCU May Never Incorporate X-Men’s Wolverine: Does Hugh Jackman Hold the Cards?

Ever since the Fox/Disney merger, and the House of Mouse’s subsequent acquisition of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, fans have been theorizing how such characters, especially Deadpool and Wolverine, will join the MCU. As casting rumors and post-credits scene spoilers dominate the conversation, it can be difficult to parse what’s really going on behind closed doors.

Hugh Jackman Wolverine
Hugh Jackman ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

From rumors that Will Smith and John Krasinski are being eyed for Mr. Fantastic to talk surrounding Herny Cavill, Zac Efron, and more joining the MCU, so-called credible leaks can be found across Reddit, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and more. However, amidst all the chaos, Wolverine remains at the center of fans’ attention. 

For nearly two decades, Hugh Jackman portrayed Logan — transitioning from the young and impulsive, do-it-yourself savior into the selfless hero with a great deal of foresight — Hugh Jackman became intimately connected to the character.

While Professor X and Magneto received younger counterparts in other installments, Hugh Jackman played Wolverine at every single point in time. And, based on what we can garner from inside reports, Marvel may choose to incorporate Weapon X, in a way that excludes Logan, unless Hugh Jackman returns.

Marvel is leaving the door open for Hugh Jackman to reprise Wolverine in the MCU 

With possible mash-up movies on the horizon, one of which involves Spidey and Logan teaming up, it seems that the MCU is destined to bring Wolverine into the picture. However, they may not be comfortable with recasting the hero.

According to We Got This Covered, Marvel is in the process of offering the role of Wolverine back to Hugh Jackman. Citing the Lords of the Long Box YouTube channel, the outlet informed readers that Hugh Jackman is Marvel’s number one pick for the part, which given the character and acter’s interconnected legacy, should come as no surprise. 

While Hugh Jackman continues to insist that he is retired from the role, Marvel apparently keeps extending the invite. Considering Wolverine’s introduction to the MCU would be years off, Marvel Studios is reportedly leaving the door open, hoping that Hugh Jackman will decide to walk through it. However, what if he doesn’t? Will Marvel go through with recasting Wolverine, or go in another direction? 

Wolverine’s farewell was a powerful moment in the superhero’s legacy — he died in Logan, and the world wept alongside him. To undo this heartfelt denoument would feel cheap; Hugh Jackman’s sacrifice would become moot. Thus, bringing him back, even if putting him within a past timeline, feels a bit wrong. However, recasting the actor feels worse. Jackman was young Logan and middle-aged Logan; thus, any actor cast will be compared back to his original performance. 

If Hugh Jackman does not return, the MCU will likely move forward solely with X-23.

The MCU’s plans for X-23

For those of you who do not remember Logan all too well, X-23 was Wolverine’s clone/adopted daughter, portrayed by Dafne Keen (The Refugees). She outlives her predecessor in the 2017 film; yet, her future destiny remains unwritten.

Reports indicate that Marvel Studios has major plans for X-23, and expect her to be at the center of the MCU moving forward. Choosing a female wolverine — whom Logan held dear — will likely sit better with fans than recasting the icon. If Jackman does not return, the MCU will likely move forward with her story sans Logan. 

While rumors that the MCU will recast Logan continue to circle the internet, the studio may not dare to take the risk; expectations will be high, and recasting Jackman may be the one challenge the studio feels unable to conquer. There’s a reason the door is still open. There’s a reason someone else has not been offered the role.