Marvel Boss Kevin Feige Told Hugh Jackman Not To Return As Wolverine

The superhero movie renaissance has had a few absolutely perfect casting choices, and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is one of them. He might be taller than his comic book counterpart, but Jackman's performance as the brawny, growly, metal-clawed mutant was crucial to the success of the original "X-Men" movie trilogy. It's no wonder that his Wolverine has had three solo spin-off movies, including the critically acclaimed final chapter, "Logan." It's equally unsurprising that Jackman has been unable to resist returning, despite saying farewell to the character, for the upcoming threequel "Deadpool & Wolverine."

"For five years, I was really honest when I said, 'I'm never playing that part again, I promise you,'" Jackman has previously insisted. In a new interview with Empire magazine, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige revealed that he once urged Jackman to stick to this conviction: 

"I said, 'Let me give you a piece of advice, Hugh. Don't come back. You had the greatest ending in history with 'Logan.' That's not something we should undo.'"

It's somewhat ironic advice, given the source. Marvel made cinematic history with 2019's "Avengers: Endgame," an unprecedented movie event that was the climax of a decade of build-up across 21 previous movies. It was a monster success, and it could even arguably be called "the greatest ending in history." Since then, though, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has stumbled with box office bombs like "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" and "The Marvels." Can "Deadpool & Wolverine" help get the MCU back on track, or will it be remembered as more of an epilogue?

Whatever happens in Deadpool & Wolverine, Logan is safe

The good news for Kevin Feige and other fans of "Logan" is that none of the events in "Deadpool & Wolverine" will impact director James Mangold's 2017 film, for the simple reason that the events in that film haven't taken place yet. "Logan" is something of an island in the turbulent seas of the "X-Men" movie timeline, since it's set far enough in the future to be more or less a standalone story. 

Now that 20th Century Fox's "X-Men" films have been absorbed into the MCU, "Logan" can easily be siloed as simply one possible future in the vast Marvel multiverse. Admittedly it no longer functions as Hugh Jackman's big final goodbye to the character, but ultimately Jackman was prepared to accept that. He explained to Empire that the decision was made over the course of a long drive:

"I was about an hour into the drive, and that question came into my head: 'What do I want to do?' And as soon as I asked the question, I wanted to do 'Deadpool & Wolverine.' I just knew it. I drove for another hour. Couldn't stop thinking about it. And I got out of the car, called Ryan [Reynolds], and said, 'Ryan, if you'll have me, I'm in.'"

(Jackman did not specify whether or not these thoughts appeared inside yellow or white boxes.)

"Deadpool & Wolverine" arrives in theaters on July 26, 2024.