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For nearly two decades, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was present in the X-Men film series at 20th Century Fox and the star of most of those movies. Jackman bid farewell to the clawed mutant with 2017’s Logan, but life goes on, and there have been questions about if or when Wolverine will be recast. When asked whether there’s been any thought about looking for a new Wolverine, longtime X-Men movies producer Lauren Shuler Donner admitted that there has indeed been consideration regarding who will wear the adamantium claws next. In her words:

Yes. Yes, because just the physicality of it all. Just to bulk up, this man works so hard to bulk up and would get up at 4 in the morning to bulk up and eat protein meals every two hours because his natural state, they used to call him Worm when he was a kid, so his natural state is a very skinny guy. And once you reach a certain age, the body just won’t go anymore, and I think he was wise to say, ‘I’m at that point, I can’t do it.’ Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t come back as older Wolverine, you never know. Future Wolverine, you never know. And I don’t know what Kevin’s thinking, honestly. I don’t even think Kevin knows yet. I think Kevin’s still dealing with this wealth of characters and trying to make sense of it all.

Lauren Shuler Donner spoke with CinemaBlend and several other outlets at the TCA Winter Press Tour about several X-Men-related topics, including the future of Wolverine. As Donner noted, Hugh Jackman went all out with ensuring he was in proper shape to play Wolverine for years, but because physicality is such an inherent part of the character, eventually the time came where he just couldn’t keep up with that demanding regiment.

So while it’s unclear what will be done with Wolverine once he and the other X-Men characters have been acquired by Disney, there naturally has been thought about who will portray the Canadian rage-machine next. After all, he is one of the most popular X-Men characters of all time, so it doesn’t make sense to leave him on the proverbial shelf just because Hugh Jackman played him for so long. And while the prospect of seeing Jackman reprising an older Wolverine is intriguing, the actor has indicated he’s made peace with leaving the character behind, to the point that’s he’s refused to do a Wolverine/Deadpool team-up movie with Ryan Reynolds.

As things stand now, the only X-Men movies currently on the calendar are Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants. Others, like X-Force, Deadpool 3 and the Kitty Pryde movie, are in development, but it’s unclear if/when they’ll ever see the light of day. There’s been speculation that these properties will simply be rebooted in order to fit within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that has yet to be officially confirmed.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates on what’s happening with Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men on the big screen in the coming years. In the meantime, look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what movies are hitting theaters later this year.

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