With all due respect to the wonderful Hugh Jackman, he can’t keep playing Wolverine forever. In fact, the versatile Aussie has made it clear that the upcoming solo Wolverine film, his third solo Wolvie film, will be his final stint in the claws. And now, Jackman is leaning toward who he’d like to see replace him.

Hugh Jackman was interviewed by MTV on behalf of Pan, where the actor plays the legendary pirate Blackbeard. But when he was asked who he would cast as a younger version of the iconic mutant hero, Jackman admitted:
He’s younger than me, for sure. I think Tom Hardy could be a great [Wolverine].

And with that, the Internet explodes in a series of wish-fulfillment memes marrying Mad Max or Bane to the X-Men universe.

Hugh Jackman is quick to joke that he doesn’t want to make it too easy on the studio to find his replacement, and while he’s confident that conversations already are taking place as to who will slip into the costume he at least has one more crack at the character to get it perfect on screen. But let’s look at the possibilities. Tom Hardy, 38, is several years younger than the 46-year-old Jackman. At 5’ 9", he’s also closer in stature to the imaginary Wolverine than the 6’ 2" Jackman. And anyone reading this who doubts Hardy’s ability to generate a feral rage obviously hasn’t seen any of his films. The dude is an absolute animal on screen, and would make for a brilliant Wolverine.



The thing is, Tom Hardy doesn’t need it. He has at least one franchise on his resume in the Mad Max movies… that is, if George Miller pursues another film after the wildly successful Mad Max: Fury Road. Hardy also does a steady stream of prestige pictures, from the upcoming Legend to The Revenant, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. And he has taken a crack at the superhero genre before, breaking Batman’s back as Bane in Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Could he do more? Of course. But should he?

My guess? Once Bryan Singer reestablishes the X-Men timeline with X-Men: Apocalypse, and he has younger versions of Cyclops, Jean and Storm, we will see a younger Wolverine -- played by a much younger actor – factored in to those sequels. Jackman makes a great suggestion. I’m just not sure that Tom Hardy would fit into the bigger picture of what Fox is trying to build with is signature superhero franchise.

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