Logan hits theaters this weekend and it’s the last time Hugh Jackman will play Wolverine. It’s getting great reviews and he’s been great in the role. It should be a fitting swan song all around, and I’m glad he’s getting the acclaim for it he deserves.
My big issue though, is concerning the man himself. What if Hugh Jackman’s been institutionalized as Wolverine? How’s he supposed to adjust to regular life?
You see it with prisoners all the time. Why can’t it apply to playing a superhero? What other life does he know? He’s been playing this character for 17 years. You can’t expect him to act in other roles now. What’s he supposed to do, appear in Bronte adaptation alongside Emily Blunt and Colin Firth? I know I wouldn’t.
I don’t see how it can work. Let’s say he works with successful directors but still can’t break the character. Can you imagine Scorsese coming up to him: “Hugh, that last read was great, but please don’t call DiCaprio ‘Bub’ anymore. It’s not in the script.” Or what about Wes Anderson? “Look, I don’t know how many times I have to tell you: your character is smoking a cigarette and holding a long, thin cigarette holder. No, I will not let you “chomp a cigar” instead. And for the love of God, stop referring to Owen Wilson as ‘Bub.'”
That’s to say nothing of the claws. Let’s say he gets cast in some big action movie. And let’s also say he forgets his lines, but he’s so into it, the director lets him improvise. The villain has him cornered. Who’s to say he won’t go, “Well, looks like you didn’t count on my friend Adam. Adam…ANTIUM!” then he goes to draw his claws back and mimes stabbing all the henchmen. As everyone throws up their hands in disgust and the director sighs, ‘Cut,’ the beloved Aussie will assure everyone, “Don’t sweat it, boys. They’ll add the claws in post.”
The most dangerous possibility is that he thinks he’s still invincible. Let’s say he’s out one night and he sees a bank robbery. What’s to stop him from waltzing right in and socking the robber in the face? What’s going to stop him, a gun? He’ll laugh at that! “I don’t think you have enough bullets in there, mate!” he’ll say, winking at a confused old lady nearby who knows he isn’t really Wolverine.
Someone will yell out, “Mr. Jackman, you know you don’t have Wolverine’s powers, right? I mean, you’re speaking in your native Australian accent right now, and Wolverine is not Australian.”
“Come again?” he’ll say before the butt of one of the robber’s machine gun knocks him out cold.
We all love Hugh Jackman. He’s so good as Wolverine, he was able to overcome that his version of the character is nothing like the comics and that most of the X-Men movies suck. We need to come together, as a society, to come up with a transition plan to wean him off being Wolverine. Maybe set up a big farm upstate with a bunch of scarecrows dressed like Sentinels. Give him five twigs to tape to his knuckles to serve as his “claws.” Whenever you see him in public, go out of your way to say, “No side burns, eh? You ain’t fooling me, Wolvie!” or “Hey man, big fan. Also Cyclops was a punk, you deserved Jean’s love.”
Little things like that. If we all pitch in and do our part, we can make sure he has a smooth transition into non-Wolverine life.
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