Back in late March, actor Hugh Jackman hinted over social media that his last time playing Wolverine was soon approaching. Soon after, Wolverine 3 director James Mangold responded to Jackman's social media post "Can't wait to make this, HJ!", leading many to believe that Wolverine 3 would be Jackman's last movie in the X-Men series. Since then there hasn't been much buzz about whether that is truly the case...until now.
Today, Jackman confirmed that Wolverine 3 will indeed be his final appearance as the ferocious clawed mutant. While appearing on the Dr. Oz Show (via Comicbook.com), Jackman told the host that the 2017 threequel will be the last time he puts on the claws. The actor chocked his exit to simply feeling that now was the right time to leave. As Jackman put it:
It just felt like it was the right time to do it. And let's be honest, 17 years. I never thought in a million years it would last, so I'm so grateful to the fans for the opportunity of playing it. ... I kind of have in my head what we're going to do in this last one. It just feels like this is the perfect way to go out.
Jackman first appeared as Wolverine in 2000's X-Men, and by the time Wolverine 3 hits theaters, he will have played the character in eight films, including his cameo in X-Men: First Class. Over the course of his 17-year tenure, we've watched Wolverine go from a savage loner to a key member (or to viewers in the real world, the most important member) of the X-Men, as well as followed him on a few solo adventures. Wolverine last appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past, where he succeeded in time-traveling back to 1973 and prevented a Sentinel-filled apocalyptic future from existing.
It was rumored last month that Jackman would also briefly appear in X-Men: Apocalypse, but that has yet to be confirmed. If it is true, that would bump his total number of appearances to nine. It's also unclear whether 20th Century Fox will recast the role once Jackman leaves or if they will retire the character, but either way, Wolverine 3 will be the final time we see Hugh Jackman popping the claws and going berserker on both human and mutant adversaries. For many fans, it may be hard to imagine anyone else playing Wolverine on the big screen, but given the character's popularity, the studio may decide to bring someone else aboard to continue his adventures.
No plot details for Wolverine 3 have been revealed other than it not taking place in a time seen in any of the previous X-Men or Wolverine movies. Several rumors surrounding the film include Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Professor X and the film itself marking the end of the X-Men universe that director Bryan Singer created. Wolverine 3 will hit theaters on March 3, 2017.