What We’ll Remember About Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine
Last month we posted the second trailer for Logan. As we get even closer to the March 3 release date the reality is setting in for X-Men fans that Hugh Jackman’s 17-year run as Wolverine is almost over. He’s been the most stable and prolific face in the increasingly crowded category of A-list superhero actors, and very soon the genre will move on without him.
So just to get everyone good and sad in advance of Logan (which incidentally looks like a pretty outstanding movie), here’s a look at some of the things we’ll remember most fondly about Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine.
Logan’s Initial Recruitment
The X-Men timeline has been all over the place, and the original 2000 film almost seems dated at this point (though it actually got terrific reviews). Looking back at X-Men, you can recall that it was largely about recruiting Logan/Wolverine for the battle ahead. In retrospect, it almost seems as much like a commentary on the coming film franchise as a piece of the plot. Plus, it’s kind of amazing just how young Jackman looked and sounded when this series got started.
His Romance With Jean Grey
It’s one of the most subtle and restrained cinematic romances we’ve seen in such a major project. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) hasn’t been a particularly active character in this franchise, but whenever she’s around it’s clear that she and Logan have a thing. If you’re a fan of the series, you must remember moments like Jean telling Logan he’s making her blush, only for Logan to ask, astounded, “you’re reading my thoughts?” There was something different about seeing the tenderness these two had for each other despite being among the most powerful mutants in the world locked in a constant struggle for survival.
The Games He Inspired
Superhero movies haven’t always led to good video games, but Jackman’s Wolverine has been a glowing exception. Slot reels that employ licensed content from the X-Men movies are featured in an incredibly diverse selection of games from casino companies, and actually use Jackman’s likeness. If not for the visual and audio content pulled directly from films these games might be nothing more than your typical online arcade. But even compared to other superhero slots we don’t usually see the actual actors brought into the games like we do with Wolverine. Additionally, the video game adaptation of the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine for major consoles has an enviable place as one of the very best superhero games of the past twenty years. Jackman’s take on Logan has proven to be irresistible to game developers, and it has also brought out the best in them.
The Marketing He Did
Another side benefit of Hugh Jackman’s casting as Wolverine is that the actor seemed to pour his heart and soul into the success of the franchise. It’s great for fans to see an actor who’s clearly invested in a series and isn’t just going through the motions to collect paychecks. Even when he hasn’t been directly involved in individual X-Men movies or spinoffs, Jackman has taken an active role in marketing on multiple occasions. The whole thing reveals his enthusiasm for the role and makes the X-Men franchise seem like a lot of fun.
The ‘First Class’ Cameo
During a sort of mini-montage in X-Men: First Class where a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his team are rounding up mutants for the academy, they come across Logan alone in a bar. Before they can get three words out, Logan responds as only he could, sending them on their way in arguably the most memorable moment of comic relief in the modern superhero genre. It’s a terrific scene that perfectly encapsulates Logan’s relationship to the other X-Men, as well as Jackman’s increasingly gruff take on the character.
The Held Hand
This is just a suspicion. But if Logan is as good as it looks, and the introduction of X-23 as a continuation of the character is successful, we’re all going to remember the scene we’ve already seen in trailers and on posters, when said girl puts her little hand into Jackman’s massive, clawed one.
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox