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Three years ago marked the end of an era, as after 17 years, Hugh Jackman made his final appearance as Wolverine in the R-rated Logan. Rather than leave things open ended for this iteration of the clawed mutant, the third of the character’s X-Men spinoffs concluded with him dying in battle, with his female clone/“daughter,” Dafne Keen’s Laura, a.k.a. X-23, by his side as he took his final breaths.
Hugh Jackman recently recalled the day he shot Wolverine’s death scene in Logan, specifically how director James Mangold went out of his way to ensure that the cast and crew didn’t rush through that period of filming. As Jackman explained while speaking with fellow Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway for Variety’s Actors on Actors segment:
I remember when we shot that scene, we were shooting [at a] very high altitude, and there was thunderstorms going off everywhere, and we had to shut down. So he just said: ‘We can’t do this big stunt scene. But we’re just going to do the death scene.’ I’m like, ‘Like, now?’ He goes, ‘I’m just going to have you and Dafne [Keen], and if you could just do that.’ I’m like, ‘All right. Okay.’ He knew that’s best for me. We got there and we’re shooting the scene. Dafne was 11. She was fantastic. We shot Dafne, and he turned around in after two takes and he goes, ‘Let’s just kick out. Let’s do another.’ I said, ‘You sure? I feel like…’ and he goes, ‘Man, let’s just stop the clocks. Let’s not worry about everything. This is the end of 19 years. Sit in it. Sit in it for half an hour,’ and he rolled the cameras. Him just allowing me that moment — because I’m like you: I’m aware of everything. Him just allowing me to just kind of, not just as an actor but as Hugh, to remember that moment. It was a luxury that I’ll never forget.
Not only was Hugh Jackman was propelled to worldwide fame when he was cast as Wolverine for the first X-Men movie, he ended up playing the role across nine movies total. So naturally the entire process of hanging up the claws during Logan was going to be an emotional experience, but clearly shooting this scene was a particularly special moment.
Given the way the weather was behaving that day, as well Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen having already shot a few takes, it would have been easy to either move on after those takes or rush through any extra takes. However, James Mangold understood that this was something that needed to be cherished, and thus had the foresight to tell Jackman to take his time with the material. Clearly the two actors delivered the goods during that 30 minutes of filming, as the take that was selected served as one of Logan’s most powerful moments, if not at the top of the list.
Ultimately, Logan ended up being one of the X-Men franchise’s most critically successful movies, ranking on Rotten Tomatoes at 93% among professional critics and a 90% audience score. It also did quite well for itself at the box office, collecting approximately $619 million worldwide.
The main X-Men film series concluded last year with the release of Dark Phoenix, and the entire era of Fox-produced X-Men will wrap up once The New Mutants finally arrives. While there are plans for the X-Men to be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point, no details have been provided on how that will be accomplished.
Rest assured, we here at CinemaBlend will keep you updated on what the future of the X-Men film franchise holds in store, including who ends up being cast as the new Wolverine. In the meantime, keep track of the rest of this year’s movies with our 2020 release schedule.