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Years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe brought serialized storytelling to the mainstream, the superhero genre was in its relative humble beginnings with Bryan Singer's X-Men. That franchise is still going strong, with the upcoming Dark Phoenix continuing the main narrative, while spinoffs like Deadpool and The New Mutants help flesh out the expanded universe.
The X-Men franchise recently lost its main star, as Hugh Jackman retired from playing Wolverine with James Mangold's Logan. But Disney's upcoming merger with 20th Century Fox has many hoping Wolverine would be recast, and finally brought into the MCU. Keanu Reeves recently revealed that he's got a passing interest in playing Wolverine, and now an artist has rendered Reeves as the character, check it out:
Is anyone else nerding out right now? This image shows what Keanu Reeves might look like as Wolverine in the MCU, and it's pretty epic. Of course, the odds of him wearing Logan's claws is pretty thin.
The above image was rendered by artist Boss Logic. Whenever superhero news or casting rumors begin making the rounds of the internet, Boss Logic usually ends up crafting his own version of that character. It's a way for the fandom to imagine actors taking on iconic superhero roles, especially since most of the casting choices never come to fruition.
Still, seeing Neo dressed up like Wolverine is the crossover that geek culture didn't expect. And Keanu certainly looks badass in the role. The version pictured shows Logan after a battle, with fresh wounds slowly healing. The slashes on his forehead allow his adamantium skull exposed, which is an especially cool detail to include in the rendering.
While Keanu Reeves might not be the first actor that comic book fans would associate with the fan favorite X-Men, his prior action experience surely gives the actor the experience to wield Logan's slaws. The version pictured is a bit older and more experienced, similar to Reeves' appearance in the John Wick franchise. Reeves gets in great shape and goes through intense training to play the hitman/dog lover, and that same bloodlust could easily be applied to Wolverine's rage.
Of course, John Wick isn't the only time Keanu Reeves has become an iconic action star. He's perhaps best known for his role as Neo in The Matrix trilogy, where Reeves performed some of the most iconic action sequences in recent history. The use of wire work and slow motion has become commonplace in the years since, and Reeves' experience in The Matrix would likely inform a hypothetical performance as Wolverine.
It should be fascinating to see what happens to the current X-Men franchise once the deal with Disney is finalized. While moviegoers are eager to see the mutants enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's a logistical nightmare. Will the same timeline and actors be transferred into the property? Or will Disney recast and bring new adaptations of the team to the massive universe? Only time will tell.