When the time comes to bring Wolverine into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo knows it won't be an easy decision, as Hugh Jackman's performance of the hero over the course of 20 years has earned the Marvel character a reputation on par with Batman. Prior to making his big-screen debut in 2000's X-Men, Wolverine was largely only familiar to comic book fans, only for Jackman's portrayal of the mutant to pave the way for the actor, and his on-screen persona, to become a defining force of pop culture over the past decade, putting that much more pressure on Marvel Studios' upcoming decision.
"To realize him on screen, it's very hard because Hugh Jackman's performance is definitive," Russo shared with the Lights Camera Barstool podcast. "It's like Batman; you have to really think of a way to, you have to really find the right actor to come in and give a really different take to that character. But I would really love to see him on screen."
Interestingly, despite the power of Jackman's performance, the actor was a relative unknown at the time and wasn't the initial choice for the role. Jackman would go on to reprise the role eight times, with his final performance being in Logan, which saw the apparent death of the character.
As is the nature of comic book movies, virtually ever since audiences last saw Jackman offering his last Wolverine appearance in 2017's Logan, fans have wondered who would take over the role. Adding a new complication to the matter, much to the delight of some fans, is the fact that The Walt Disney Company secured the rights to Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men from 20th Century Fox, allowing that beloved roster of heroes to officially enter the MCU at some point in the future.
While Russo might not have an official say in the matter, he shared that he doesn't think Marvel Studios should rush into any decisions, knowing that any actor who takes on the role will have comparisons drawn to what Jackman did with the hero.
"I think the best thing is to take a break, without question," the filmmaker admitted. "You need a [palate cleanser], you need to rinse the towel a little bit, let everyone enjoy what was, and then come up with something new. But I'd love to take a crack at Wolverine at some point."
A number of projects have been announced regarding the future of the MCU, yet no official word has been revealed regarding Wolverine or the X-Men.
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