May 17, 2014

Hugh Jackman's Flip-Flop On Desire To Play WOLVERINE Part Of New Contract Negotiation?

We've been hearing in recent interviews from Hugh Jackman, that he might be ready to hang-up his claws as Wolverine. This would be expected to happen after Wolverine 3 is released in 2017, but nothing had been official. By 2017, Jackman will have played the role nine times. It's not hard to imagine him wanting to move-on and allowing another actors to takeover the iconic comic book role.

Not so fast, during the Australian premiere of Days of Future Past, Jackman had changed his tune. While speaking with IGN on the red carpet, he's apparently now been given new energy from the recent film. Without spoiling the film, believing there is a lot more that can be said with the character.

“At one point, you’re right, I said I was pretty sure [that 'Wolverine 3' would be my last outing in the role]. But I’m less sure as it goes along. Because after seeing this movie, the whole thing feels fresher to me than ever. And during this movie…I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s kind of like a clean slate, so who knows where it’s going to go. As long as I have the passion for it and the fans will have me.”

I have to agree there is plenty more left to be said concerning the stories of Wolverine. Considering we're now dealing with an alternate X-Men universe. Fox could perhaps reboot Logan's time with the Weapon X program, including his history going up-again Omega Red during the Cold-War. Even introducing Canada's own mutant team Alpha Flight, which Wolverine was a member of is now a viable option. Other interesting Wolverine stories include Horsemen of The Apocalypse, which might be influencing X-Men: Apocalypse. Jackman has mentioned an interest in the Old Man Logan story, that might be lip-service as it would be a difficult adaptation. Although, combing Old Man with elements of Mark Millar's Enemy of The State could work. Now that Wolverine's new legacy is open to new stories, anything can happen. Because of this, Wolverine 3 might not even become a direct sequel to The Wolverine. I wouldn't rule-out Logan being apart of the main lineup of Jeff Wadlow's X-Force.

This could all be a contract negotiation tactic, spearheaded by Jackman. There had been rumors (via TheNationalEnquirer) that Fox was considering re-signing Hugh for at least four more movies. This new deal would have likely included Wolverine 3, X-Men: Apocalypse and two unnamed films (X-Force being another?). The price-tag was estimated to be around $100 million. Hugh went on to deny the rumblings and gave a EW statement on why he wouldn't consider something like a multi-picture contract.

"No it’s not true. I would never do that. I’ve never done that mainly because, for the fans and for me, each time I’ve gone around there’s been a really good reason to do it and I don’t know what that reason is from here. I’m in the middle of making this and I just promoted the other and I’m really happy with the way The Wolverine came out."

I have to assume that Jackman truly doesn't want to be involved with multi-picture contracts, and you can't blame him. Everyone involved with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, have basically tried to forget it even happened. Producer Lauren Shuler Donner, has said as much when it comes to Origins and X3. It's possible if Jackman isn't allowed a say in future films development, it could end-up becoming another disaster.

A play-or-pay type of deal is likely what Hugh is actually looking for. Giving him the ability to agree to a project before there is an obligation to appear in it. At this point in Hugh's career and role within the X-Men franchise, it's not crazy to think he'd get more of say of the direction of the film's he's involved with. Perhaps, he also wants his responsibilities as producer increased as well. Of course, this is all speculation on my part, but it's doubtful Fox actually wants to let him go.

His new attitude towards the character, might be a hint that's found common ground with the studio concerning future films. It's also very possible that Fox has asked Jackman to be a bit more positive when speaking about his future in the franchise. He does have another two films to make, I'm not exactly sure how he signed-off on those movies without finished scripts.

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