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While Hugh Jackman's Wolverine was unquestionably the most popular character of the X-Men trilogy, his first solo effort as the character put a pretty serious dent in the franchise. The film was a decent success at the box office, but it was torn apart by critics and left a bad taste in audience's mouths that some suggest resulted in X-Men: First Class not performing as well in theaters as all of the other movies in the series. Belief in the popularity of the character has led 20th Century Fox to make James Mangold's The Wolverine, which will be out at the end of July, but it may be the last time that Jackman carries the weight of a solo title about the character.
With the next movie coming out soon, Entertainment Weekly had the chance to sit down with the Aussie star, and while talking about the future Jackman suggested that this could be his last time strapping on the claws for a Wolverine movie. "I wasn’t even sure after the first [stand-alone] film if I would do another," the actor told the magazine. "I won’t say never, because I’m still loving it. But there would have to be a pretty compelling reason." Producer Hutch Parker added that the idea of recasting the part at this stage, "feels somewhat blasphemous."
Jackman actually holds the record for most appearances as the same character in a live-action superhero movie, with The Wolverine set to be his sixth appearance as Logan (Robert Downey Jr. comes in second with five separate movies as Tony Stark/Iron Man). As director Bryan Singer has revealed twice, however, Jackman is already working on his seventh time playing Wolverine, with a role in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past.
I like to think that if The Wolverine turns out to be great that would be enough of a compelling reason for Jackman to consider another movie - especially because it's hard for a human actor to keep playing an immortal character for years, which means that the window is always closing little by little. But I suppose we'll just have to wait and see when The Wolverine hits theaters on July 26th.