Who Could Be The Next Wolverine? 5 Worthy Successors To Hugh Jackman
With Logan being Hugh Jackman’s swansong as Wolverine it’s inevitable that the role will be recast. This is obviously no small feat, Jackman has embodied the role and taken it to a level no one expected when he first appeared as Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s X-Men way back in 2000. Now there are probably a few of you thinking it’s too soon to be thinking about recasting, but Hugh Jackman hasn’t died and it’s fun to speculate. So, let’s get to it.
Luke Evans has had a very similar career path to Hugh Jackman. Both have come from a beginning in London’s West End and found themselves in huge Hollywood franchises – in fact Evans will be playing Gaston in the live action Beauty and the Beast, a role Jackman played on stage. Although this background isn’t essential to playing Wolverine, it’s still an interesting parallel.
What does make Evans qualified to play Wolverine however is his obvious acting range. To be able to play an – admittedly cliché – villain in the Fast and Furious franchise (probably the best in the series as well) to playing Gaston is a great example of this range. Coupled with his Wolverine-esque appearance, this broad ability would be useful to portray both the animalistic, tender, and potentially even humorous sides of Wolverine.
It’s a shame Iwan Rheon has already been snapped up by the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play Maximus in Inhumans, but I still wanted to give him a mention in this list. Now I’ll get this out the way first; I haven’t seen Game of Thrones. Before you hunt down my whereabouts I’m still aware of Iwan Rheon’s talent – I’m a big fan of the early series of Channel 4’s Misfits – and I’ve seen the praise he’s received for his performances in Game of Thrones.
Not only do I think Iwan Rheon can pull off the various elements of Wolverine’s layered personality, he also has many physical attributes in his favour. For one, he’s got that rare combination of looking younger than he is – he’s 31 – and can grow a beard, a useful combination if you’re going to play Wolverine. He also has the one attribute that Hugh Jackman could never have, he’s short. At 5’8 Iwan Rheon is much closer to comic book Wolverine’s 5’3, where Jackman is 6’3. Alas it’ll probably never happen.
Out of everyone I’ll name on this list I think Jack O’Connell might be the most suited to the role of Wolverine. He certainly has the ability to show the aggressive side of the character, his role as Cook on Channel 4’s Skins showed that. O’Connell has gone onto bigger and better things since that early showcase of his talent. His portrayal of Bobby Charlton in United was met with acclaim and he followed that up with equally accomplished performances in Starred Up and ’71.
In 2014 he finally cracked Hollywood, playing Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and if there’s any justice he’ll move onto to even bigger roles still. At 26 he’d be even younger than Hugh Jackman was when he debuted as Wolverine, but O’Connell has shown acting range beyond his years and the role of Wolverine seems tailor made for him. Also, like Iwan Rheon he’s only about 5’8, so that’s a bonus.
Aiden Turner first came to my attention for his role as the vampire John Mitchell in the BBC’s Being Human. My first thought was that he was quite hairy, my second was that he was good actor, both useful for the role of Wolverine. Now he’s not exactly the right build – he’s fairly slim – but Hugh Jackman wasn’t the unit he is now in X-Men so that’s not much of an issue.
What’s more important though is Turner’s broad acting experience. After playing a vampire that had genuine character depth – a rarity these days – he also put in a truly compelling performance in the Agatha Christie miniseries, And Then There Were None. His biggest role so far though has been Poldark. The success of the series has led to Aiden Turner being an outside bet to succeed Daniel Craig as James Bond. That does raises the question of which would be the better role?
This is a long shot since Dominic Cooper has already played Howard Stark in Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, it’s not highest profile role in the MCU, so you never know. Like everyone else on this list Cooper certainly as the superficial characteristics of Wolverine and a Hollywood personal trainer would no doubt get him in Wolverine level shape.
Additionally, Cooper – like the others on this list – have the benefit of not being so recognisable that it would break the immersion of the role. Something that I felt contributed Hugh Jackman’s longevity was his ability to become the face of Wolverine. He didn’t have the baggage of previous highly recognised roles. Although Cooper has worked in blockbusters before he’s managed to avoid being type cast, something that could play in his favour if he ever became Wolverine for an extended period.
So, there you have it, 5 actors that I feel would suit the part of Wolverine and have the ability to do justice to Hugh Jackman’s iconic portrayal. Some are no doubt more likely than others thanks to the world of Hollywood contracts, but stranger things have happened.
Agree with me? Or do you think someone else would be better for the role?