Marvel and Ryan Reynolds shocked the world when it was revealed that Hugh Jackman will be returning as Wolverine in Deadpool 3, the same film that will see Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool make his official debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What was particularly shocking about the news that Wolverine is in Deadpool 3 was the fact that Jack had once made it adamantly clear that he was done wearing Wolverine's claws – so what convinced him to change course and bring Logan back for Marvel's Deadpool movie?
A new feature in Variety sees Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds finally sitting down to talk about that big Deadpool 3 surprise crossover and how it came about. One main focus of that conversation was why Jackman decided to come back as Wolverine; as it turns out, the desire had been brewing in the Jackman a long time, and Ryan Reynolds' first Deadpool movie in 2016 had a lot to do with it:
"I went to a screening of Deadpool. I was 20 minutes in, and I was like, 'Ah, damn it!'" Jackman explains. "All I kept seeing in my head was 48 Hrs. with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. So it's been brewing for a long time. It just took me longer to get here."
The various turns of business in the movie industry made Jackman's initial interest ill-timed. His comment ("'Ah damn it!'") was in reference to his experience of seeing Deadpool just when the press tour and promotional push for Logan had really started. Jackman and co. had hinged Logan's marketing on the "event" of it being the actor's final time playing Wolverine. Director James Mangold went so far as giving Jackman's Logan/Wolverine a grand death scene, which marked a definitive ending for the character, both onscreen and off. In that context, Jackman suddenly doing an about-face and saying, "Just kidding, more Wolverine coming!" would've pretty much invalidated everything Logan was about to do. The timing was just too awkward to do anything about it.
However, Jackman and Reynolds each kept a torch burning for the idea of a Deadpool/Wolverine crossover. It was Ryan Reynolds who kept pushing the idea to both Jackman and Marvel Studios following the Disney-Fox merger that took place between late 2017 and early 2019. It was only in August of 2022 that Jackman finally decided he was ready to reverse course and put the claws back on. This time, fortune favored the timing of events: Jackman decided he was game to return as Wolverine and made the call to Ryan Reynolds just when Reynolds was about to go in for an official meeting on Deadpool 3 with Kevin Feige:
"I think, actually, he'd given up," Jackman says of Reynolds. "I think it was a big shock to him. There was a massive pause, and then he said, 'I can't believe the timing of this.'"
So there you have it: timing is everything, kids. And it rarely works the way you want it to. Stay vigilant.