After being a major part of ER's cast for nine of the series' 15 year run, Eriq La Salle has stuck mostly to TV, with a couple of film roles mixed into his career's path. Which makes his casting in a role for Wolverine 3 all the more mysterious, and at the same time, exciting!
The scoop comes from Variety, who have broken quite a few Wolverine 3 casting scoops over the past month or so. And just like the previous castings of Stephen Merchant and Richard E. Grant, the details of La Salle's character, as well as the film's plot, have been kept under wraps. So naturally, there's going to be a lot of speculation as to who the man once known as Dr. Peter Benton will be playing. What we can say is that Eriq La Salle's casting is inspiring further curiosity on our parts to find out just what the final Wolverine film will be about, considering its cast is eclectic and inspired.
One option would be that La Salle could be cast as an ally to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, thus making Wolverine 3 another two-handed quest against evil. It wouldn't be that much of a stretch, as Eriq La Salle is only six years older than Jackman, and could probably get into the right shape to keep up with the main beast himself. Or, on the other side of the heroic coin, La Salle could be playing a sage figure of wisdom and knowledge, who helps Logan on his epic, final quest. But what fun are those possibilities, considering that Eriq La Salle is best known for playing a doctor, and a spot just opened up in Marvel / Fox's medical wing.
Consider the following scenario: it's all the rage to start or reboot a franchise by introducing one of its characters in an already established franchise. The same strategy is what most folks feel is going to be used for Richard E. Grant's appearance in Wolverine 3, with Mr. Sinister being pegged as his role of choice, making for a perfect hypothetical link to Channing Tatum's Gambit spin-off. Now if further speculation is true, and Old Man Logan is in fact going to be the inspiration behind Wolverine 3, there's going to be a need for multiple villains. One such villain from Mark Millar's original comic was none other than Doctor Doom, and seeing as Fantastic 4 crashed harder than a faulty Quinjet last summer, Fox is going to have to get creative if they want to keep the property in their grasp.
Which means that if the screenwriters of Wolverine 3 had the same, clever idea as we did, Eriq La Salle could become the new face of Doctor Doom, thus keeping Fantastic Four in play at Fox, while at the same time keeping part of Old Man Logan's villainous cast in tact. While the good doctor wasn't a major part of the original mini-series, he would fill the vacuum of villains that belong to other studios, like Red Skull or The Hulk. Of course, as we said earlier, this is all mere speculation, as details are sparse. Still, the thought of Eriq La Salle playing a new, more sinister Doctor Doom is something we're totally on board for.
Wolverine 3 is scheduled to start shooting this month, with a March 3, 2017 release date polished and ready to go.