Over the past decade of films based on Marvel Comics’ superheroes, there’s been one constant that we’ve come to rely on: Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. Through good films (X2) and bad (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) Jackman has been the cornerstone of the cinematic team of mutants, and though X-Men: First Class and its imminent sequel largely ignore the X-Men films that preceded them it seems that 20th Century Fox just can’t imagine a better actor to portray the scrappy Canadian known alternately as Logan, Wolverine and Weapon X.
X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer confirmed Jackman’s inclusion in the film’s cast via Twitter last night. “I would officially like to welcome @RealHughJackman to the cast of
#XmenDays of Future Past. Very excited! More to come…” Singer wrote.
While Singer offered no further information on Jackman’s character or how he would be used in the film, this makes perfect sense. Jackman will be appearing as Wolverine in director James Mangold’s upcoming The Wolverine, a film that explores the character’s backstory, specifically the extended period of time he spent in Japan, learning the code of the samurai and stabbing a frankly massive number of ninjas with his shiny metal claws. In keeping with Marvel Comics tradition, Fox has always made a notable effort to tie their comic book films together, so Jackman’s ongoing portrayal of Wolverine in the Marvel cinematic universe provides viewers with a sense of familiarity. Plus, Jackman has been quite good in the role since he first popped his claws in 2000’s X-Men.
Those of you who fondly remember the unexpectedly excellent X-Men: First Class will recall that Jackman did play a role in that film, albeit a short cameo. As the sequel is based on the X-Men: Days of Future Past storyline, a comic book tale that heavily features a futuristic incarnation of Wolverine, it’s probably safe to assume that Jackman’s role will be greatly expanded. Whether the film will include an homage to the iconic image of Wolverine’s metal skeleton floating in a vat of nutrients remains to be seen, but we’d like to assume that Singer would realize the importance of that scene, and make every effort to include it as an indicator of how dark the film’s future timeline has become. Futher, we’re willing to award Singer double points if he also includes the scene where the elderly iteration of Wolverine is vaporized by a giant Sentinel robot.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is scheduled to hit theaters at some point during 2014, most likely in the Summer. As a result you can probably expect a slow trickle of specific plot details to emerge over the course of the next year and a half. Given the objective quality of X-Men: First Class and the number of returning cast members (including Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence), all indications to date seem to suggest that X-Men: Days of Future Past will be a quality film, and for Singer’s sake we hope so. The comic book source material is one of the most beloved story lines in Marvel Comics history, and if Singer delivers anything less than an excellent adventure he’s undoubtedly going to be savaged by rabid comic book geeks.