While the mutant-loving film community sets its sights on Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fox quietly begins negotiations to keep another very familiar hero in his claws for at least one more go-round.
Deadline reports that the studio has entered negotiaions with James Mangold to helm The Wolverine 2, with Hugh Jackman (obviously) donning the razor-sharp claws of Logan once again. The trade site notes that Mangold’s first superhero film has proven to be a massive global hit, raking in $413 million in worldwide ticket sales. At the moment, it is the second-highest-grossing X-Men film of all time (behind Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand, surprisingly). And Jackman’s draw ensures that future Wolverine stories have a better-than-average chance at pulling commendable box-office numbers for years to come.
Here’s where things get REALLY interesting. It long has been believed – at least in the speculating online community – that Singer’s Days of Future Past would help launch the next phase of cinematic stories based on Marvel’s X-Men universe. Kick-Ass 2 writer-director Jeff Wadlow has embraced X-Force as a potential spinoff. The younger versions of key players introduced in the First Class universe could carry at least two or three more films. If you asked me to pick a character to continue expanding the universe, I’m not sure that Wolverine would be high on the list.
Why? Primarily because Jackman now has been playing the character for 13 years, dating back to the first X-Men movie in 2000.
And while there’s a strong contingent of fans who believed Jackman and Mangold finally came the closest to capturing the feral rage of Wolverine in last summer’s The Wolverine, I honestly didn’t anticipate the 45-year-old Jackman to commit to playing the character for the next 5 years, give or take.
At the moment, Deadline is saying that the storyline for a Wolverine sequel is being kept under wraps. Comic fans know there are multiple plotlines Mangold could follow while working up his treatment, from Peter David and Todd McFarlane’s "Vicious Cycle" (which pits Wolvie against the Hulk) to Mark Millar’s "Old Man Logan" (which could factor in Jackman's age).
Here are the main questions we need answered. Is there a particular Wolverine story you’d like to see Fox tackle in a Wolverine sequel? Do you wish that the studio would offer the role to someone other than Jackman after all of these years? Are you glad they are going back to the Wolverine well, or do you wish they’d explore feature films based around other X-Men heroes? Would you rather see Fox expand on the Future Past universe? I’m willing to let Mangold figure out all of these elements in time. But this is a MUST. Get Wolverine in this costume, bub … or I’m not interested anymore.
UPDATE! In the time since this report was originally published we've learned even more about Wolverine 2. Fox has announced a release date for the sequel and we can expect The Wolverine 2 in theaters March 3, 2017.