Superhero movies are big business right now, but few characters have become as iconic during their cinematic runs as Wolverine. Played by Hugh Jackman, everyone’s favorite X-Man has dominated every movie he has featured in; he is one of the main reasons the first movie in 2000 fared so well and made major box-office, which in turn spawned several successful X-Men movies and three spin-off origin stories. Let’s not forget that X-Men was also one of the movies that ushered in the modern superhero genre. Back then, it didn’t seem like a big deal. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, sometimes.
When Wolverine 3 drops in 2017, Hugh Jackman will have played the role for 17 years. After the release of his final movie, he will be retiring from the role that made him a household name around the globe. Speculation about how Fox will continue with the character has scorched the internet since the details of Jackman’s retirement surfaced — and Bryan Singer even claimed that recasting Wolverine would be impossible, as revealed by Cinema Blend — but one current DC actor has expressed an interest in the role, and has thrown his hat in the ring for potential casting.
The actor in question is Johnathan Schaech, who some may recognize from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow TV series. In the show, Schaech played anti-hero Jonah Hex, and the actor has expressed a huge interest in slipping on the claws of Wolverine. During a panel at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, the actor stated that Wolverine is a character close to his heart.
According to Schaech, Wolverine is one of the reasons he started acting in the first place. Should the casting come about, Schaech certainly has the look for the popular character. If you rough him up a little and smear some dirt on his face, and let him grow a beard and mutton chops, you have the perfect replacement, looks-wise, for Hugh Jackman. It’s interesting to see another actor expressing his interest in the role, one that is sure to dominate Hollywood should the part be freed up. Remember, when Jackman was cast as Wolverine in the first place, there was uproar with the casting. How time has changed things.
If the role does come his way, Schaech wouldn’t be the first actor to star in both a DC and Marvel property. Ben Affleck is the most recent acquisition to the short list, having starred as Daredevil back in 2003 and Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He is also set to feature in multiple sequels and spin-offs, and made a double cameo in Suicide Squad. Another actor on the list is Ryan Reynolds, who starred in the much-panned Green Lantern, and then featured in the box-office shattering Deadpool at the beginning of 2016, a role that actually came about because he originally popped up in the first spin-off Wolverine movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The list is short, but as the evidence suggests, it also means big business for the actors involved.
Regardless, the chance of any actor securing the role is totally dependent on Fox. They haven’t expressed any intention or desire to continue the role, but many think it would be a risky move to remove him from the X-Men universe completely, financially or otherwise. The X-Men films have grossed more than $4 billion worldwide, and the fact that Wolverine was included in most of these movies is no coincidence. If they don’t remove him, then a hiatus would be a sensible idea to bring more mutants into the fold and give them a chance to shine. With a new wave of mutants currently waiting in the wings, this would be the perfect time to usher them in and potentially find a new star for the franchise.
Wolverine 3 is due to drop in 2017, but chances are that Fox is already considering the next move for their ever-popular mutant lead. With female clone X-23 being hinted at as per the end credits scene in X-Men: Apocalypse, a character who could introduce a legacy storyline for the character, and actors already eyeing the role of a lifetime, Fox certainly has options. Whether or not they act on them is a completely different matter altogether.
Wolverine 3 is scheduled to hit cinemas on March 3, 2017.
[Image via 20th Century Fox]