Why Henry Cavill as Wolverine Is a Bad Idea

This week a pretty wild rumor started burning up social media and the internet, one that suggested that Henry Cavill was being eyed by Marvel Studios to play Wolverine, specifically with him making his big Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the upcoming Captain Marvel 2. It was an intriguing thought, but it's also one that was pretty quickly debunked. ComicBook.com has since learned that, as of now, Cavill hasn't been approached for any role, including Wolverine. More than that, Captain Marvel 2's script isn't even done so there's really no guarantee the character is debuting there anyway. And with that in mind, it might be worthwhile to take a nice deep breath and step back from the hubbub of it all not because it was a wild rumor, but for a bigger reason: casting Henry Cavill as Wolverine is just a bad idea.

That's right, unpopular opinion time. Casting Cavill as the MCU's Wolverine is a bad choice and it's not just for the top-level things that may come to mind, such as his work as Superman. Cavill having played Superman on the DC side of things may well be something that's off-putting for some -- love Man of Steel or hate it, Cavill is very much associated with the character now by many -- but he's also had a number of other notable roles including in Netflix's The Witcher, that proves he can move past the iconic Kryptonian. No, there are other reasons a Cavill Wolverine is a bad idea: Marvel roles that may be a better match for Cavill, other actors who may be a better match to Wolverine, and perhaps the biggest reason of all: the MCU doens't necessarily need Wolverine just yet.

When it comes to Marvel roles that Cavill could play, fans have had ideas of who the actor might take on in the MCU for some time, going back to fall of 2018 when news broke of the actor's rumored DC exit. While there were no shortage of suggestions and yes, some people probably did suggest Wolverine at the time, the character that came up most frequently in a bit of fan casting was that of Brian Braddock/Captain Britain. The protector of Great Britain, Brian Braddock became Captain Britain when, after being fatally wounded in an accident, he was given a chance to save his life by the magician Merlyn and his daughter Roma and choose between the Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might. Brian didn't see himself as a warrior so he chose the Amulet and was transformed into Captain Britain. Since then, the character has served on a number of teams, including the Secret Avengers and Excalibur.

While there have only really been the barest of rumors that anything involving Captain Britain has even been considered, it isn't too difficult seeing Cavill in the role given that the actor is, himself British and has serious superhero cred. That feels like a vastly better fit generally, character-wise, than Wolverine. There's also the whole idea that if Cavill were joining the MCU in any capacity, having him come in as Captain Britain would create a very natural opening for the addition of the X-Men's Psylocke who, in comics, just so happens to be Captain Britain's sister. Why waste Cavill on an ill-fitting role to force a popular character into a story they may not really fit into when you can get a bit more creative and come up with a more nuanced story and create a natural expansion to the X-Men to boot? Going the creative, nuanced direction feels much more in keeping with Marvel's MCU approach thus far.

Casting Cavill as Wolverine would also be a bad idea because there are other actors who are better suited to the role. In May 2018 when Hugh Jackman made it clear that his time as Wolverine was over, there was a lot of chatter about who might be able to take on the iconic role when the character inevitably made his way to the MCU. Among the names thrown around by fans and others in speculation were Scott Eastwood (due in part to the frequent appearance of his father, the legendary Clint Eastwood, on lists of who should play Old Man Logan,) and Kingsman: The Golden Circle star Taron Egerton. Egerton in particular is a bit more physically accurate for the role given that, height-wise, he not as tall as Cavill which could translate well into giving fans a more comics-accurate Wolverine than what we've seen in previous films. Not that fans haven't adjusted to taller-than-canon Wolverines, just that the opportunity is there and could be pretty great.

The biggest reason why Cavill as Wolverine would be a bad idea, however, is that the MCU just doesn't need Wolverine. While seeing the X-Men join the MCU is a huge deal for fans, the reality is that Marvel would do well to introduce other X-Men characters first instead of coming out claws-popped full force. Look at how the MCU has unfolded thus far. The entire universe was built not on massively popular characters, but characters that were intriguing and saw their stories introduced a bit at a time. Sure, Iron Man is wildly popular now, but a dozen years ago he wasn't exactly a household name. He's become one since the moves of the MCU to now allowed for that character to develop and grow both in story and in terms of the hearts and minds of fans even as other, major characters came into play as the stories moved along. A similar approach to bringing the X-Men into things would be one that would allow for the MCU to expand in a more organic way, a way that would tell larger, better stories than just cramming a popular character in for popularity's sake.

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On top of that, Wolverine has recently had the spotlight in terms of movies. The character had a trilogy of his own in recent years -- X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009, The Wolverine in 2013, and Logan in 2017 -- but even beyond the character's prominence in film, Jackman's portrayal of the character is nothing short of iconic. Trying to "replace" that with a new actor and a new take on the character simply sets up anyone who steps into the role as well as any story that tries to bring the character in so quickly for a measure of failure. It's just straight-up too soon and therefore a bad idea to bring Wolverine into the MCU, especially when here are numerous other X-Men characters that could be used to lay the groundwork for the big introductions fans crave.

Ultimately, the Cavill rumor is just that -- a rumor. Yet even if it weren't, there are solid reasons why Cavill isn't a great choice for Wolverine. The actor would be better served in another role, the character would be better served by another actor, and the MCU has plenty of X-Men characters to choose from. Wolverine just isn't needed at this time. Marvel can do better in terms of the X-Men. Here's to hoping they will.