Which got a few people talking, who should be the new Wolverine? So whilst you postulate this yourself, a bit of background here. X-Men came out in the year 2000. It was essentially the first Superhero film of the decade and was a major success. It stuck closer to the source material than previous comic book movie interpretations and was fairly well cast. One of the best castings was of course a young Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine. Interesting fact: Bob Hoskins and Ex-Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig, were both considered, yes CONSIDERED, to play Wolverine merely because of their height and stature.
Jackman played and looked the part well, lifting the character straight from the pages to the silver screen. It was through himself and Patrick Stewart as Professor X (or “wheels” as Hugh mocks his disability so acceptantly to the movie going public) that the X-Men were really brought to life to this film. However, in juxtaposition I will point out that they made Cyclops out to be a wuss (nothing like in the comics) and Halle Berry (the failed Catwoman) being cast to play Storm was like getting Vanessa Feltz (a failed woman who owns cats) to play Amanda Waller (Do you even know who Amanda Waller is? Go read a fucking comic). Overall though it was a massive success and inspired sequels. The first sequel wasn’t bad as Bryan Singer was quite an X-Men fan which made sense then for him to direct these films. For one reason or another though, he left and for “X Men 3-The Last Stand” we got Brett Rattner whose back catalogue of work up until this point was ‘Rush Hour’, ‘Rush Hour 2′ and ‘Prison Break’. Surprisingly it didn’t work at all as he decided to go down the line of Jean Grey’s ‘Phoenix’ story arc but paid next to no attention to the source material or to anything in particular actually. For instance, a part that always annoyed me was the final battle/bridge scene starts off in daylight. All these people abandon their cars in daylight. Storm or some other mutant turns the sky into night-time. Cut back to the bridge and all the car lights are now on and shining in the dark. Did they all run back and put their parking lights on or something? He was swiftly flung from the studios future plans.
Anyway…after that, FOX decided to try doing origin stories for all the characters whilst, behind the scenes, they tried to fix Brett's mess of a story that he’d left them with. After all, he’d killed more Marvel characters than DEADPOOL and even worse, in shitty ways (Cyclops walks out to a lake to make out with Jean Grey and that’s all we see and know). Not to mention he introduced The Juggernaut as Vinnie Jones. No, I haven’t typed that the wrong way. We didn’t think Vinnie Jones was the Juggernaut. We all looked at the cinema screen and thought “The Juggernaut is Vinnie Jones?”.
So FOX decided to go with the character who got all our bums on the seats, Wolverine. It was at this point FOX really started to show their true colours and that they had no idea what they were doing. Half the film is watching Hugh Jackman quite besotted with his girlfriend, completely glazing over the fact he’s 100’s of years old via an opening credit montage (who still does those anyway?). The graphics are so poor as well, when Logan is first looking at his Adamantium claws, he himself looks like he can’t believe how badly they have been rendered onto his fist. The only redeeming part of this film is the scene where he has the WEAPON X program is administered and Logan has the Adamantium injected into his bones. That scene is pretty fucking baller. However, FOX giveth and taketh away. They cast the perfect man to play the merc with a mouth, DEADPOOL, then took away his mouth!! Don’t worry Ryan. Your time is coming!
All in all it was such a flop that they decided to scrap their movie-saga idea (a business model that Sony would adopt years later a lá Amazing Spider-Man) and integrated the idea of doing Magneto and Professor X’s story with ‘X-Men First Class’. It was 2011 and Marvel was kicking everyone’s arses at making comic book based films. They had to up their game or be lost in the dust like DC. They brought in a host of fresh faces to play characters old and new and director Matthew Vaughn who was famous for the British films ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, ‘Snatch’ and most recently (back then) ‘KICK ASS’. 2 films following a lot of characters at once and one fresh take on a comic book movie. This gave the franchise a much needed revitalisation and made the X-Men cool again. And Sexy. Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence? Yes please.
Fast forward. A second Wolverine film was brought out and its ending was used to catalyze the old cast back onto the screen and bring them together for ‘Days of Future Past’. Bringing back Bryan Singer to direct as well, it was a resounding success and dubbed as one of the best Marvel films not to come straight out of the Marvel studio. As we are now, they are filming ‘X-Men Apocalypse’ and rumour is they are writing an ‘X-Force’ film to follow. This will probably mean we may see the character of time Travelling, militant mutant, Cable make an appearance and possibly then lead the X-Force on a mission and who knows? That may then tie in with the DEADPOOL movie. Wolverine and DEADPOOL together. PROPERLY!
Here’s the thing though. Do we want all that? Yes, to a degree. But if we go back to the original question “Who should be the new Wolverine?” what is your answer then? I have 3 perfect answers to this:
I am firmly of the belief that we should just reboot. After all ‘Apocalypse’ is a fantastic way to just name the end of this run, let alone a great way to finish it as a whole. Think about it, do you want to see someone else play Wolverine and interact with the old characters? Won’t that just take you out of the film? He’s not James Bond, you can’t just throw another guy there and we’ll accept him. We could start the story again but really nailing every character casting and their depiction on screen. I mean come on, a badass Cyclops is due! No more preppy Cyclops!! Also building the team up slowly. Did you know that Wolverine wasn’t an original member of the X-Men? In fact it was Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl.
Obviously for legal reasons they would drop the name ‘Marvel Girl’ and just call her by her other name. ‘Jean Grey’. See? You could have some great characters and you could have the beginning of a whole new universe in your development. Even neatly tie it into the new DEADPOOL movie so we don’t have to explain what the fuck happened in ‘Wolverine: Origins’. The sequel would introduce Banshee, Colossus and then finally Wolverine. Who could be a fresh casting and you wouldn’t think twice about the fact it wasn’t Hugh Jackman. I think it boils down to either Tom Hardy who has yet to play a comic book character where we can see his face or Sam Worthington most famous for Avatar and Terminator Salvation. It’s getting on 15 years now since this all started, we’re going to have to replace other actors soon. This makes the most sense to me.
The son of Wolverine and his deceased wife Itsu. Daken possesses superhuman abilities similar to Wolverine (retractable claws, healing factor, etc). He could easily be introduced into the current timeline via the ‘Apocalypse’ storyline. Without spoiling the film for you, Apocalypse re-writes time and makes it so that mutants now rule the earth and mankind is enslaved. In this re-write of Earth’s timeline, Wolverine could easily have had his son. For storyline’s sake we have Apocalypse kill Wolverine and have Daken spend his life fighting in his fathers name to keep his name alive in mutant society. The advantage of this is we could have a young face brought in, maybe ‘Love Actually’ actor Rodrigo Santoro
It would be quite a change of pace for him and a role he could make his own with the right dedication. Daken feeling disjointed from the rest of the X-Men team, could then go on to fight in the X-Force films. Remember as well, time can be re-written in X-Men. So this even leaves space for Hugh Jackman to be brought back in the future for an Old Man Logan story arc and who wouldn’t want to see that?
3) NO MORE WOLVERINE
Not a popular opinion but one for the sanctity of the character more than anything. I just don’t want to see another actor play Wolverine with the current cast. The ideas they may be having to expand the X-Men universe do sound great and I would love it to all tie in to one another. 5 years from now to be watching an X-Men film that has its roots in the film I went to see 20 years before would really cement these films into a lot of peoples hearts. Expansion means there will be more characters to love and become attached to as well, so do we really need to rehash Wolverine? Are you honestly telling me that if they dumped Wolverine and got DEADPOOL in to be the witty character we’d all walk away? In the comics we have recently just had ‘THE DEATH OF WOLVERINE’ (although I have no doubt he’ll come back), it is something we should all consider. Why not leave the audience wanting for once, rather than keeping the old codger on life support? Pull the plug.
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