Fox's third installment of the latest X-Men trilogy, X-Men: Apocalypse, is still a ways off, but one of the X-Men's biggest cinematic stars is already dropping hints on the role one fan favorite might play. It wouldn't be too surprising to see Hugh Jackman's Wolverine popping up in Apocalypse, though, if you know the history of the X-Men's next major villain.
Wolverine has been a mainstay of Fox's X-Men movies from the very beginning, taking a lead or major role in six of the seven X-Men-related produced so far, but is there any way for him to pop up in X-Men: Apocalypse? Given that the next X-Men movie will be set in the 1980s, before the cinematic X-Men should have encountered Wolverine, just how could that sort of thing come off?
Hugh Jackman talked to MTV recently (h/t: Cinema Blend) about possibly reprising his Wolverine role in X-Men: Apocalypse. The fact that Jackman talked about Wolverine in Apocalypse should pretty much signal to fans that he's probably going to be in there, but the way Jackman phrased it is interesting.
"I have been speaking to the guys," Jackman said, "and I'm not at liberty to tell exactly what's going on, which is largely framing my answer here. But there's still a lot unknown about that, actually."
That's a solid non-answer, but – again – it totally makes it look like Wolverine will have an appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse. How would that work, though? How could you have Wolverine fighting alongside the X-Men and none of the X-Men remembering Wolverine decades later? Well, about that "fighting alongside the X-Men part."
Here's the thing: Wolverine doesn't have to be a hero in X-Men: Apocalypse. In fact, it makes perfect sense for him to be a villain.
Fox's X-Men movies have always tweaked the existing continuity of the comics for whatever Fox's execs thought would make the most sense (read: "money") on screen. That's why you've seen mutant cures mixed up with Dark Phoenix and Dark Phoenix happening in the vicinity of the Weapon X project and Wolverine traveling through time to blah blah blah blah. The point is: Fox doesn't care to get the continuity right, and that's why Jackman's Wolverine could totally pop up in the 1980s fighting alongside Apocalypse.
As Inquisitr pointed out when detailing why Apocalypse will be the X-Men's greatest on-screen villain, Apocalypse never really rolls solo. He tends to bring along Four Horsemen: Death, War, Pestilence, and Famine. Apocalypse usually picks new Horsemen with each of his new incarnations, and he once actually picked Wolverine.
Quite a while back in the comics, Apocalypse abducted Wolverine and had him brainwashed into becoming his Horseman of Death. That meant that Wolverine wound up fighting against his fellow X-Men, though he was masked while battling them. Eventually, he was revealed as Wolverine and the brainwashing was broken and something something something unite against a common enemy.
If Apocalypse is going to be rolling with his Four Horsemen, and if Jackman is indeed going to reprise Wolverine in some form, it would make sense for X-Men: Apocalypse to go this route, as it would give a continuity-based excuse for Fox to bring in Jackman one more time. In fact, with Wolverine's well-established history of getting his memories tampered with, it wouldn't even be too hard to explain away why he doesn't remember the X-Men at all.
This is all conjecture, of course, as Jackman won't even confirm that Wolverine will be in X-Men: Apocalypse. The third installment of the wildly successful X-Men reboot is expected to focus largely on Magneto and Mystique's romance, and there might not be too much time for Jackman to flex and growl in between all of the Fassbender-Lawrence close-ups.
Even if he doesn't pop up in X-Men: Apocalyspe – he totally will – Jackman intimated that he's likely not done with the character of Wolverine quite yet.
"There are some very exciting things about integrating the whole X-Men world," Jackman said, "including the Wolverine movie. There's some really cool things going on."
That definitely sounds like another Wolverine movie could be on the way, or maybe an appearance in the Deadpool movie. So long as it's not another X-Men Origins.