It appeared at one point that Hugh Jackman would no longer be boasting the Wolverine moniker on-screen after his final outing in James Mangold’s Logan. The endeavor brought forth a fitting, poignant conclusion to the X-Men character most of us grew up with. What fans probably weren’t anticipating was Jackman’s revelation of reprising the role for the upcoming Ryan Reynolds starrer Deadpool 3.
Director Mangold has touched upon the subject a few times before, reflecting on studios and conglomerates’ inclination to wring out characters and IPs to keep the franchise machine moving. Wolverine presented itself as no exception to that rule.
Speaking recently of Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which the filmmaker also helmed, Mangold seemingly hinted at his cynicism towards Hollywood bringing back actors and their franchise-oriented characters post-retirement from the role.
Is James Mangold Upset About Wolverine’s Deadpool 3 Return?
Mangold discussed his thoughts on the endings to Logan and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in a recent CinemaBlend interview. The helmer was entrusted to bring to life the concluding journeys of these classic, timeless characters.
While the Jackman starrer features a finale that eliminates the possibility of a continuity-adhering return for the actor’s iteration of the character, the concluding chapter to Harrison Ford‘s Indiana Jones suggests that the actor can now surrender the moniker and retire from the big-screen portrayal, but the character’s life goes on.
Upon drawing a parallel between the two, the 60-year-old director was asked to shed light on the final day of filming of the 2023 action adventure. Stating that the experience he shared with Ford on the endeavor was reminiscent of his last day with Jackman, Mangold hinted that there is never an ‘end’ to these franchise characters:
“… The significance of (the last day) for Harrison … is [that it was] the last time he was going to play that character in his life. That … was very moving for me. I felt exactly the same thing on the last day of shooting Logan. Although, of course, it isn’t the last day. (laughs) So one also gets cynical about when the last day actually occurs.”
These James Mangold-directed projects captured the spirit of performing a beloved role one last time. But as Hugh Jackman’s to-be comeback as Wolverine has demonstrated, the helmer doubts if the final day of filming can ever be deemed the last. A character can exist as long as its legacy persists. However, it seemingly diminishes the point of an endeavor being advertised as an actor’s final outing in the role.
Nevertheless, Mangold has made it known that he supports Jackman playing the role again and has come to terms with Hollywood’s insistence on utilizing the character for as long as it may be profitable.
James Mangold Understands The Inevitability Of Wolverine
Following the announcement video posted by Ryan Reynolds that shook the world a year ago, Mangold took to Twitter to publish a gif from Logan (2017), showing the titular character’s final moments. At the time, many assumed it to be indicative of the director’s disapproval of the project. In a follow-up tweet, the Oscar-nominated talent dispelled fans’ qualms, affirming his wholehearted support for Deadpool 3:
Oh my gosh! Everybody chill. Just kidding! I’m all good! LOGAN will always be there. Multiverse or prequel, time warp or worm hole, canon or non-canon or even without a rationale, I cannot wait to see what maddness my dear friends @VancityReynolds and @RealHughJackman cook up! pic.twitter.com/qaCG4Z39x4
— Mangold (@mang0ld) September 28, 2022
In an interview with Variety, ahead of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny‘s release, it grew apparent that James Mangold understands the inevitability of a character like Wolverine. The franchise economy thrives off of bringing back such timeless iterations and making a profit from them.
Even if the director wished Logan was the final iteration of Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine, he was assured that the X-Men character would always reappear in some capacity:
“I can’t say that there’s a part of me that doesn’t wish … we’d let it be. But there was always going to be another Wolverine. There could be a baby Wolverine and a cartoon Wolverine. As much liquid as they can squeeze out of that rag…”
In a follow-up video to the ‘Hugh-Jackman-is-back-one-more-time’ announcement, Ryan Reynolds affirmed that the events set to transpire in the upcoming Deadpool installment will not meddle with Logan‘s narrative. The send-off given to Jackman’s Wolverine still counts and remains as meaningful as the time the world witnessed it.
Deadpool 3 is slated for a July 26, 2024 release.