According to Hugh Jackman — who plays X-Men’s Wolverine from Marvel Comics for the ninth time when Logan hits theaters on March 3 — his decision to end his nearly two decades long run as part of the X-Men movies franchise came after a serious talk with comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld. In an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Hugh explained how his ninth and final appearance as Wolverine isn’t all that different from Jerry’s decision to end Seinfeld after nine seasons.
Hugh Jackman first appeared as Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men, the first cinematic installment of the very successful X-Men franchise. After reprising his role in X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), the character was finally given his own film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was met with mixed reviews in 2009 (it currently has a score of 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes‘ “Tomatometer” and a rating of 58 percent for its audience score). Jackman’s Wolverine made a cameo in X-Men: First Class (2011) before the second Logan-centered film, The Wolverine (2013).
Unlike the Origins film, The Wolverine was clearly a part of the greater X-Men movies narrative. It was received much better than X-Men Origins, earning a score of 69 percent on the “Tomatometer” and 69 percent as an audience score as well. By comparison, the R-rated film Logan has a “Tomatometer” score of 96 percent.
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Hugh Jackman also appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). In fact, the only film set in the X-Men universe that hasn’t included Jackman was 2016’s Deadpool — the success of which let producers know that R-rated superhero films can be wildly successful.
On Friday night, Jackman was a guest on The Tonight Show, and Jimmy Fallon eventually asked him about making the decision to stop being a part of the X-Men movies. Jackman revealed that it was a conversation he had with his friend Jerry Seinfeld that motivated him to make the decision. As Jackman tells the story, he was just having a casual conversation with Seinfeld about how he decided to end his iconic sitcom.
“Look, when you’re creating something, it’s very important not to run yourself dry. It’s not about finishing ‘on top’ necessarily, but making sure that you, creatively, still have something left, which propels you into whatever’s next.” After sleeping on that sage advice from Jerry Seinfeld, Jackman says he woke up knowing exactly how he wanted things to end for him as Wolverine. The idea for the movie Logan was born, and Jackman was prepared to give his final performance as the rugged loner with adamantium claws and super self-healing powers.
As reported by The Verge, Patrick Stewart will also make his final X-Men appearance in Logan. Stewart was the original Charles Xavier in the first X-Men film and has appeared in five other films from the franchise since that time. In more recent films, including X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Apocalypse, Professor X was played by James McAvoy. Like Jackman, Stewart thought Logan would be a great ending for his character.
I realized there will never be a better, a more perfect, a more sensitive, emotional, and beautiful way of saying “au revoir” to Charles Xavier than this movie.
But as Jackman and Stewart make their way out of the franchise, Dafne Keen is introduced as Laura Kinney, otherwise known as X-23. Aside from her recurring role in BBC’s The Refugees, the Spanish-born pre-teen has virtually no acting credit to her name. However, if Logan does as well as critics seem to think it will, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that Keen will essentially replace Jackman as the new Wolverine in future X-Men movies.
[Featured Image by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Baby Buggy]