Some actors embody certain roles in Hollywood in such a way that those characters become a trademark. It’s almost like those actors have patent rights on those roles even though they do not own the characters legally. The likes of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America & even Chris Hemsworth as Thor are just irreplaceable. But the guy who started this trend of trademark characters was Hugh Jackman with his version of Wolverine.
Jackman has had the longest running tenure as Logan along with Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier. He is surely going to be replaced when Wolverine joins the MCU since a reboot is coming our way in about 5-6 years. But until the time a new Wolverine is cast, Jackman’s going to be our Wolverine. What’s funny is that when Jackman was cast in the role, there were many people who thought that it was actually a miscast.
Wolverine earlier in the comics (and mostly even now) was a short hairy and bulky guy. Jackman, on the other hand, was tall and lean, and the only Wolverine traits that he had was that he was hairy and had an ability to produce immense anger and rage. But he came in with that facial hair and completely owned the character for almost 2 decades!
What’s more interesting is that he defined the character’s appearance and traits for the period of time that he was running as Logan. The comic book looks of the character changed to make Wolverine look more like Jackman’s version. So when you say that Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine wasn’t comic accurate, you’re totally wrong because there’s no exact comic accuracy left as Jackman has totally redefined the character everywhere. Although, we get the point.
What we would actually like for Wolverine is to be the version that was earlier in the comics. The next Wolverine should have a suit that defines him and we could use a short and bulky actor for the role. The actor that completely fits the bill and does have the acting chops for the role is Tom Hardy. If you look at Hardy’s Venom or Bane physique, you’d surely say that he could be the perfect Wolverine. What’s even more interesting is that Hardy was almost cast for the role even before we got the 3 best performances from Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.
X-Men: First Class Director actually wanted Tom Hardy to play Wolverine. While promoting his Elton John biopic Rocketman, Vaughn revealed that the idea of Hardy playing a younger version of Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He told ComingSoon:
“When I finished the Days of Future Past script with it ready to go I looked at it and said, ‘I really think it would be fun to cast Tom Hardy or someone as the young Wolverine and then bring it all together at the end. Fox read Days of Future Past and went ‘Oh, this is too good! We’re doing it now!’ And I said, ‘Well what do you do next? Trust me you’ve got nowhere to go.’ Then they did Apocalypse and it’s like… If you flip that ’round even it would have been better. Hollywood doesn’t understand pacing. Their executives are driving 100 miles-per-hour looking in the rear-view mirror and not understanding why they crash.”
Fox didn’t listen to the advice of the Director and that’s why he left. He continued:
“That’s one of the reasons I didn’t continue, because they didn’t listen to me. My plan was First Class, then second film was new young Wolverine in the 70’s to continue those characters, my version of the X-Men. So you’d really get to know all of them, and my finale was gonna be Days of Future Past. That was gonna be my number three where you bring them all… because what’s bigger than bringing in McKellen and Michael and Stewart and James and bringing them all together?”
Well, he’s absolutely right. People stopped caring about the X-Men right after Days of Future Past. But it’s good that Wolverine didn’t change because we needed Logan. We needed it so much!