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For the better part of 17 years, Hugh Jackman has occupied the adamantium claws and spiky hair of everyone's favorite feral mutant, Wolverine. His time in the role is coming to a close -- if you believe the latest party line -- as the actor concludes his filming on the as-yet-untitled Wolverine 3. But he knows who he owes all of this to, which is why Jackman recently presented this fantastic gift to original X-Men director Bryan Singer.
Singer shared this photograph on Instagram, thanking Hugh Jackman for the thoughtful gift of artwork by the legendary Joe Quesada that depicts the Aussie in his Wolverine garb (from X-Men: Origins, if I'm guessing correctly) and Singer sitting in Professor Xavier's chair. The inscription, written by Jackman, reads:
Dear Bryan -- It all started with you, bub! 1999 to 2016! From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
It was a casting decision that changed the trajectory of Hugh Jackman's career. Prior to the original X-Men movie, Jackman was an up-and-coming actor who, overnight, became a household name. He continued on with the franchise through two other OG X-Men films, and even tried to branch Wolverine out into his own spinoff film. Twice. Then, when Matthew Vaughn effectively reset the X-Men timeline, it was Jackman who was right back in the role, giving Singer the opportunity to tell the most famous X-Men storyline on the big screen, Days of Future Past. And, of course, when Singer needed Jackman for X-Men: Apocalypse, the actor happily conceded.
This has to be very strange for Hugh Jackman, to say goodbye to a superhero he has embodied for nearly two decades. At the very least, Jackman will be going out on top. Even if Wolverine 3 is terrible -- and with James Mangold in the director's chair, I can't see it being a disaster -- Jackman's body of work in the Wolverine role will establish this run as something special.
But because the X-Men universe is currently healthy, and fluid, I honestly can't see Hugh Jackman being COMPLETELY done with the role. A cameo in Deadpool 2? A spot in a future Marvel movie if and when Fox strikes that deal with Marvel Studios? There are too many possibilities in the realm of superhero films to fully put a lid on Hugh Jackman's Wolverine... unless Fox was willing to recast -- and I think that would have happened when Apocalypse introduced younger versions of the regular characters.
For now, Wolverine 3 will be in theaters on March 3, 2017. We don't have a title. Or a trailer. Or even a proper synopsis. But Bryan Singer has some beautiful art for his office wall.