This past Sunday, The Wolverine director James Mangold revealed on Twitter that 20th Century Fox plans to shoot Wolverine 3 shortly after X-Men: Apocalypse wraps. The catch is, Hugh Jackman, who has played the character in seven movies over the span of fifteen years, might not return. As of yet, he is not even confirmed for X-Men: Apocalypse. What does this mean for the franchise? Well, according to Mangold, Wolverine will go on with or without the actor. Like James Bond before him, Logan is a character that will continue to live on the silver screen, just like he has in the comic books and the movie storyline itself, no matter who is swinging those antimantium claws. So, who might replace Jackman, an actor who unquestionably owns the role and is synonymous with it at this point?
Today, we look at 6 actors that could pull it off.
After all, Hugh was pretty much the last choice to taken on this iconic role back in the early 2000s. Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe were first sought out. When they ultimately passed, the role went to Dougray Scott. He had to step back because of obligations to Mission: Impossible 2. The weirdest casting choice came first, though. When X-Men started to come together way back in the late 90s, Bob Hoskins, the rotund little man from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, was Hollywood's perfect choice. Where do we land here in the teens? The superhero playing field has changed quite a bit...
Perhaps the best choice to replace Hugh Jackman is fellow Aussie Joel Edgerton. Almost ten-years-younger, he has the right scruffy look and body type to pull off the character of Logan, and he has the attitude down. He is an acclaimed dramatic actor with strong roles in Animal Kingdom and The Great Gatsby, but he also knows how to hold his own when it comes to action, with strong work in Zero Dark Thirty and Warrior. He would be great for a one-off, or perhaps a new trilogy. The down side, though, is at 40-years-old, he may be too old to carry the mantel over the next 15 years.
Joel Edgerton's Warrior co-star Tom Hardy is a chameleon who has the ability to captivate in a role like Logan, and he might be one of the very few who can convincing throw out the word 'Bub' and not make it sound completely cartoony and lame. He certainly has the body type to play Wolverine. And he's no stranger to genre fare having played Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. At 36 years old, he could conceivable stay in the role for the next 15 years, but he's an actor that swings wide, and he may not want to be tied down to a character he has to play 7 or 8 more times.
At 24-years-old, Liam Hemsworth is the youngest guy on the list. He, too, is a fellow Aussie. While growing into a handsome leading man, he may not have quite the right look for Logan. But he certainly appeals to a new audience of youngsters weaned on The Hunger Games. And he can pull in that elusive female crowd, with his shirtless berserker rage owning the potential to sell a lot of action figures. Its no secret that Liam has been searching for a superhero role in brotherly competition with Chris Hemsworth, who's still winning comic book fans over as Thor. More than anyone else on this list, he has the best hair for the role. And he's young enough to play Logan for the next two decades.
Ok, we admit it. This is a horrible idea. But the man saves franchises, and he needs a superhero added to his resume. Logan might actually work for him, though he'd have to wear a wig, and the movie might become more of a cartoon then we've seen in the past. Here, we have to weigh who is the bigger persona: Wolverine or The Rock. This one is a stretch, but we think under the right circumstances, with the perfect script, he might be a good choice. Or not. We're torn, but we're willing to give him a shot. The man invented Smacaroni salad, for god's sake. Is there anything he can't do?
How about a virtual unknown for the role? Hugh Jackman wasn't a household name yet when he took on the character of Logan back in 2000. Londoner Jack Huston is young, dashing, and has just the right look to pull off this Mutant warrior. He also has the hair, though some might consider him too 'skinny'. That hasn't stopped other recent studios from hiring actors to play their superheroes. We like Jack Huston a lot for this role, even tough he hasn't really been tested in genre fare yet. So far, he has put in great dramatic work in Boardwalk Empire and American Hustle, but at 31 years-old, we think this is the kind of breakout role he needs.
Our last pick goes out to another Aussie (Logan is Canadian, by the way), and somewhat unknown actor Xavier Samuel. The 30-year-old doesn't have the same Wolverine-like physical qualities that Jack Huston has, but like Tom Hardy, he has the rare talent of completely disappearing into a role. He's been searching for a part like this, he has the body, and women love him. He has that superhero quality that the studios look for, yet he can also bring a sense of realism to the story other actors might miss. If he can make us believe in an underwater supermarket shark brawl (Bait 3D!), he can wear a pair of metal claws and make them convincing. Like Jack, he has gravitated to heavier roles as of late. But that might make him the perfect guy to take this X-Men franchise spin-off into a new decade.
Do you like any of these choices? Who did we leave off that might be just as good? Lee Pace? Jensen Ackles? Maybe 20th Century Fox should let Dougray Scott come back for a one-off. That would be pretty rad. Let us know your thoughts.