Hugh Jackman has donned the Adamantium steel claws to portray Wolverine in a pair of X-Men film series as well as his own standalone superhero franchise. However, the actor has hinted that, following his starring turn in Wolverine 3, he’ll depart the role for good after 17 years and at least eight films. “Wolverine… one last time,” Jackman wrote on Instagram beside a photo of his fists with his trademark claws protruding.
In 2014, Jackman admitted that the next standalone Wolverine film would probably end his tenure in the role. “If I did another [Wolverine film], I’m 99.9 percent sure it would be the last, so that will inform what it is for me,” Jackman said. Since the 46-year-old Australian actor took on the role of Wolverine, he’s seen two-going-on-three actors portray Spider-Man on the big screen, and Jackman acknowledges that it’s “inevitable” that his Wolverine will someday be recast, IGN reports.
After appearing in every X-Men film in the original trilogy plus two Logan-centric spinoffs – 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2013’s The Wolverine – Jackman’s beloved superhero had a cameo in the X-Men reboot First Class before his role in that series was expanded for 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
While Jackman has penciled in the third Wolverine movie in March 2017 as his last appearance as the character, marking his eighth time rocking his signature sideburns, it’s still unclear whether Jackman will return for next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse – although Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen already revealed they won’t be back – or pop up in a pair of upcoming X-Men spinoffs, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and Channing Tatum’s Gambit. Jackman’s retirement would also eliminate him from any potential X-Men/Avengers Marvel Universe crossovers in the future.
Jackman’s eighth go-round as Wolverine is significant as it would put the actor ahead of some elite company when it comes to cinematic reoccurring roles: Both Sean Connery and Roger Moore portrayed James Bond in seven films. Only the late Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, who appeared in eight Star Trek films, is currently more prolific than Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in modern cinema history.