Hugh Jackman’s Return as Wolverine Surprised his Agent and Worried Kevin Feige

Ever since news broke that Hugh Jackman was returning as Wolverine, fans and Marvel canon keepers have had to reckon with the fact that Jackman had already had his bittersweet superhero sendoff in James Mangold’s 2017 banger Logan, and returning as the be-clawed mutant might mess with that beloved movie’s entire premise and Wolverine’s timeline. The premise in Logan was that the gruff, grizzled lone wolf makes the ultimate sacrifice for his mutant kind and becomes a mythic hero in the process by giving up his life to save a young mutant molded by his own genetics in Dafne Keen’s Laura. The timeline was Wolverine canon, the same one we’d been following for years in previous X-Men movies. Wolverine definitively died at the end of Logan, and in such epically noble fashion that even superfans of Jackman’s take on the character who wanted him around a lot longer had to concede it was the best possible exit.

Then came the news that Jackman had signed up to reprise Wolverine for Deadpool 3, later titled, for emphasis, Deadpool & Wolverine. Ryan Reynolds had long been agitating for Jackman to join his mouthy, irreverent superhero in his R-rated, F-bomb-happy franchise, and Jackman had finally signed on. In fact, Jackman was so eager to join Reynolds that he said yes to the movie before he told his agent. In a conversation with Fandango alongside Reynolds and director Shawn Levy, Jackman admitted he’d agreed almost out of a Wolverine berserker burst of spontaneity.

“I was on my way, I was just driving, and literally, just like a bolt of lightning, came this knowing deep in my gut that I wanted to do this film with Ryan [Reynolds],” Jackman told Fandango. “For Deapdool and Wolverine to come back together. I swear to you, When I said I was done, I really thought I was done. But in the back of my head, ever since I saw ‘Deadpool’ 1, I was like, ‘Those two characters together.’ I knew it, I knew the fans wanted it ever since I put on the claws, people talked about these two. So, that had always been there, but I just knew. And I literally couldn’t wait to arrive,” he continued. “Soon as I arrived, I rang Ryan. And I just said, ‘Let’s do it.’ Like, I hadn’t rung my agent, no one. I had to ring my agent and said, ‘Oh, by the way, I have just committed to a movie.’”

Yet the power of Jackman’s last turn as Wolverine in Logan was such that even a person who would personally gain from Jackman’s return was leery; Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige thought he should stay retired. Feige told Empire that he gave Jackman a piece of advice—don’t come back. ‘You had the greatest ending in history with Logan,” Feige told Empire of his conversation with Jackman. That’s not something we should undo.’”

So what got Feige in Jackman’s corner—besides all the delicious comedic possibilities of putting him back in the claws and pairing him with Reynolds’ gleefully ludicrous Deadpool? The fact that Deadpool & Wolverine wouldn’t undo Jackman’s journey in Logan because the Wolverine we’ll be seeing in the new film is a different version. As Jackman has said previously, Marvel’s been playing around with various timelines via the multiverse for a while now, and it allows for multiple versions of a single character (hence the multiple Thanos’s—Thani?—and Gamoras in Avengers: Endgame for example). This meant Jackman’s Logan timeline could remain intact, his noble sacrifice forever etched in Marvel canon history.

The fact that Deadpool & Wolverine is serving up an entirely different Wolverine to audiences—yet still with his trademark claws and hard-earned, embittered stoicism—offers yet one more reason to rush to the movie theater when the film comes out.

Deadpool & Wolverine slashes its way into theaters on July 26.

For more on Deadpool & Wolverine, check out these stories:

New “Deadpool & Wolverine” Teaser & Images Signal Start of Ticket Sales

Wolverine’s Room is on Airbnb: You Can Now Rent the X-Men Mansion

“Deadpool & Wolverine” Doesn’t Require Prior Marvel Cinematic Universe Knowledge

The “Deadpool & Wolverine” Trailer Hints At a Different Logan & the Most Powerful Villain Since Thanos

Featured image: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan in 20th Century Studios/Marvel Studios’ DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2024 20th Century Studios / © and ™ 2024 MARVEL.


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