Thursday, June 16, 2016

EDITORIAL: The Claws Are Coming Off - My Thoughts On Hugh Jackman Leaving Wolverine

It's been a little over a year since Hugh Jackman confirmed that he was exiting his iconic role as Wolverine.  He stated that the upcoming third Wolverine film will be his last time putting on the claws for the role that he has been the sole actor for the past seventeen years.

"This will be my last one,” Jackman said when asked about the rumors while a guest on the Dr. Oz show back in May of 2015. “It is my last time. It just felt like it was the right time to do it. And let’s be honest, seventeen years. I never thought in a million years it would last, so I’m so grateful to the fans for the opportunity of playing it"

Jackman went on to explain. “I kind of have in my head what we’re going to do in this last one. It just feels like this is the perfect way to go out.”

Later on in 2015, Hugh Jackman had a change of heart. “At one point, you’re right, I said I was pretty sure that ‘Wolverine 3′ would be my last outing in the role. But I’m less sure as it goes along. Because after seeing this movie, the whole thing feels fresher to me than ever. And during this movie…I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s kind of like a clean slate, so who knows where it’s going to go. As long as I have the passion for it and the fans will have me.” 

Now, there are rumblings going on again that he might depart the role. It would be sad for those of us who have felt Hugh Jackman was awesome in the role of Wolverine.  However, I do have to agree with Jackman's prior thoughts on leaving the role. Seventeen years in a role, especially one in such an obvious niche genre, can have the potential to stereotype an actor in Hollywood for the rest of their career. There is no arguing that the role of Wolverine requires a lot of physical strength and agility to personify the character. Jackman may feel that he is slowing down to the point that he can't do the character justice anymore. Nothing can make some fans turn on an actor more than them being obviously too old for the role.

Though I love Jackman's portrayal of Wolvering, I did have a lot of trepidation back when they were first casting the role for the first X-Men movie. I'll be honest, I'm very particular when my favorite comic book characters get cast for live action movies. I didn't know much about Hugh Jackman at the time, but I was extremely pleased with his portrayal of Wolverine, whom he perfectly brought to life. 

Now, with Jackman possibly stepping away from the role he made famous, I find I might have to go back to having trepidation about who they are going to recast in the role, if they choose to do so.  I have already found myself disappointed with the casting choice for the role of young Han Solo and I haven't personally liked a Batman since Michael Keaton.  And don't even get me started on the horror for me that was Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and the debacle in casting for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie.

As I look over the current crop of actors that Hollywood seems to be fixated on constantly casting in big budget action hero roles, I don't see a single candidate I would be happy with picking up the iconic claws. I have one personal choice that Hollywood isn't so obsessed with that I think might be able to take on the role and do it justice. However, I know the studios will pass him by in favor of whomever they think will be the most bankable star in the role. Go for the name, not the role is usually their standard M.O. for casting. Sometimes it works (Robert Downy, Jr. as Ironman) sometimes it doesn't.

But that doesn't mean we can't do a little fantasy casting among our readers. I have deliberately withheld the name of my choice since I would like to hear about YOUR choice for role of Wolverine and not debate mine. Besides, it would be fun to see if anyone else comes up with him as their choice too. If they do, then I'll chime in to say 'me too."

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