‘X-Men’: Wolverine’s MCU Introduction Should Be a Cameo

Fans have been clamoring for the X-Men to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for many years,  and that clamor has only intensified with Disney buying 20th Century Fox, which controlled the rights to those characters. Only thing is, the MCU has not been in any particular hurry to bring the mutants into the fold. 

Fans are naturally curious as to how Wolverine should be introduced, if he ever is. That’s a tall order after Hugh Jackman’s well-loved portrayal of the character. Perhaps that’s why some fans are suggesting a low-key re-introduction. 

The history of Wolverine at Fox

President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige
President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

If Wolverine wasn’t the best-known character among the X-Men, he certainly became such once Hugh Jackman began playing him – and that almost didn’t happen.

According to Yahoo, Actor Dougray Scott had been slated to play him, but the filming  of Mission Impossible 2, in which Scott played the villain, ran far over schedule. Scott couldn’t get out of the shoot, and Fox had a deadline to meet, so Jackman got the part, and the rest was an up and down history. 

With the charismatic Jackman in the role, Wolverine became the central character of that first movie, and subsequent X-Men movies had Wolverine front and center more often than not. So it was no small wonder that his hero was the one who got his spinoff movies, although those were a mixed bag. 

The very first entry, 2009’s  X-Men Origins Wolverine, was not well received when it came out, with its mishandling of Deadpool and Wolverine’s CGI claws being the target of much derision. Fox tried again with director James Mangold in 2013’s The Wolverine, but the general feeling persisted that Fox hadn’t done right by the character in a solo movie.

That all changed with 2017’s Logan, with fans and critics agreeing that movie closed the book on Jackman’s Wolverine on a very high note. That movie became the  first superhero story to score a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination and easily the highest-grossing Wolverine entry. 

How might the MCU introduce the Mutants?

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Meanwhile, the Fox X-Men franchise limped to a close with Dark Phoenix and New Mutants, with neither film making a strong impression at the box office. Still, fans want to see the mutants again in some form or fashion. There are two lingering questions: When and how?

As for when, that seems to be far off. Marvel chief Kevin Feige has stated that it would be quite some time before the X-Men came into the MCU.

Only last year, he told IndieWire, “It’s all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time.”

Still, that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating how the mutants could come into the MCU sooner rather than later. There has been some talk that Eternals, due out next November, could be an entryway because the X-Men could be kind of a byproduct of the Eternals.

It could even come as soon as WandaVision, because Wanda in the comics was strongly associated with the X-Men. But where does that leave the guy with the claws?

What do fans want to see from the MCU Wolverine?

Some fans actually don’t want Wolverine to be as big a deal in the MCU as he was in the Fox movies.

One fan on Reddit wrote: “One of the things I like about the older Claremont comics and X-Men: Evolution is how they handled Wolverine by keeping him in the supporting role but still making him a badass character. He had a role but the focus was still on the team as a whole. I feel like they need to lean into that with the MCU version.”

For casting, another fan suggests, “How about Jason Statham or Pilou Asbaek? Statham would have a hard time in 10yrs though, so that boat has sailed along with my fantasy of (George) Clooney as Reed Richards. Pilou Asbaek, Euron Greyjoy from GOT would be a NUTS berserker despicable Wolverine.”

Still, as Feige suggests, we probably won’t be seeing Wolverine or any other mutants for a good long while. Then again, he also said that before the pandemic upended the MCU schedule. Perhaps Wolverine and the other X-Men could come back earlier than expected as the MCU mutates.