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X-Men Writer Reveals One Big Wolverine Change From Studio That He Refused To Include

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine with adamantium claws out
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Although Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine performance in the first X-Men movie propelled the character to new heights of the popularity, the adamantium-clawed mutant had already assembled a sizable fanbase through over two decades of comic book appearances and being one of the main characters in X-Men: The Animated Series. As such, when David Hayter was tasked with writing 2000’s X-Men, he was sure to push back against a studio change he was sure wouldn’t sit well with fans: not having Wolverine be Canadian.

David Hayter shared how he pushed back against this studio suggestion while speaking with Inverse as part of the outlet’s oral history on the Marvel Comics character’s nearly 50-year history. On the subject of 20th Century Fox not wanting to include Wolverine’s Canadian background, the writer said this:

By the way, one of the proudest moments I had on the first film was when I was called into one of the producer’s offices and they said to me, 'Hey, can we just find Wolverine in Alaska instead of Alberta and make him American?' I knew this was coming, but I was ready. I told them, 'Everybody knows that Wolverine is Canadian and the fans will kill you.' I had no power in this situation, but I stood my ground and he stayed Canadian.

Wolverine has been depicted as Canadian since the very beginning, with his debut in 1974’s The Incredible Hulk #180 seeing him being sent by Canada’s Department H to break up a brawl between Hulk and Wendigo. So I don’t blame David Hayter for standing his ground on this aspect of Wolverine given how deeply ingrained it was in the character’s history. The average moviegoer wouldn’t have been bothered by Hugh Jackman’s version of Logan being found in Alaska rather than Alberta, but the longtime Wolverine fans definitely would have taken issue with it.

Admittedly, the X-Men movies never delved too deeply into Wolverine’s Canadian background. The most we ever got on this front was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, seeing James Howlett (as Wolverine was originally named) somewhere in Canada’s Northwest Territories in 1845 and returning to the country over a century later to live with Kayla Silvefox and make a living as a logger. Still, the fact that David Hayter kept Wolverine a Canadian rather than followed through with Fox’s push to make him an American serves as one of the ways he truly understood the character.

Hugh Jackman wrapped his run as Wolverine in 2017’s Logan, and while the Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown willingness to bring in past takes on Marvel characters from other film series through Spider-Man: No Way Home and potentially Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (assuming Patrick Stewart is indeed reprising Professor X), Jackman has made it clear he will not reprise the character. So the next time Wolverine we see in the MCU next, be it in the X-Men reboot or another project, it will be a brand-new version. How will this incarnation differ from Jackman’s? It’ll be a long time before we learn that, but unlike Fox, it’s a good bet Marvel Studios won’t push for the new Wolverine to not be Canadian.

Once some concrete details for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s plans for the Wolverine and the entire X-Men property are revealed to the public, we’ll pass them along. Until then, there’s plenty of other articles on upcoming Marvel movies you can read here on CinemaBlend, and many of the Fox-era X-Men movies can be streamed with a Disney+ subscription.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.