Saturday, March 28, 2015

Why I wish Wolverine--and only Wolverine--would appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, and recent news spurred me to action. Hugh Jackman posted this image to his Instagram today:
A photo posted by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman) on

It sounds like Hugh Jackman will only play Wolverine one more time, and I have to say, I hope it ain't so. Nobody else could ever play Wolverine like Hugh Jackman, and I dearly hope Wolverine can someday join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As I have said before, I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. More than just combining two great things I love, having Wolverine interacting with the Avengers would be a treat because he would add a great dynamic to the existing team. Despite his elaborate backstory, Logan is, at his core, a blue-collar guy, with simple tastes. Since the Marvel storylines are becoming increasingly more cosmic in scope, adding Wolverine would help keep those stories grounded.

Wolverine would have great opportunities for interacting with all of the existing Avengers. He wears blue jeans, T-shirts, and beat-up jackets, so I would love to see his reaction to Tony Stark's fine suits. I would love to see Wolverine have a conversation with Captain America about human nature, contrasting Logan's cynicism with Steve Rogers's idealism (even better if they remember that they served together in World War II). I want to see Logan drinking with Thor, matching him drink for drink. And how great would it be to see Wolverine swapping war stories with Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury?

As for the Hulk, well, Wolverine vs. the Hulk has been a classic matchup since Wolverine's first appearance. Seeing it on the big screen would be amazing.

I am convinced that Hugh Jackman could pull off every one of those scenes, and I wonder if anyone else could. It takes the right balance to pull of Wolverine, so that he feels menacing without chewing the scenery. He should be layered without being angsty, and likable without being goofy. Even in the movies where Hugh Jackman plays him, the creators haven't always pulled it off.

Of course, the film rights to the X-Men belong to Fox, while Disney and Marvel own the rights to the Avengers, making an appearance by Wolverine in the MCU unlikely. If I can dream for a moment, and imagine that they could work out a deal where Disney could have Wolverine in an Avengers movie as long as they do not mention that he is a mutant, that honestly might end up being better than if they introduce him as a mutant.

All we need to know is that Wolverine underwent traumatic surgery at the hands of a covert government project, though his memories of exactly what happened are hazy and possibly suppressed. That's enough: if the comics have taught us anything, it's that characters like Wolverine benefit from some mystery and ambiguity.

If Fox keeps the rights to all the other mutants, that would help keep the Marvel Cinematic Universe from becoming too crowded. The more superheroes you pack into a setting, the less special it becomes to have superpowers. There are so many mutants in the comics, with so many storylines, that they might as well exist in a parallel world to the non-mutant Marvel characters. This becomes abundantly clear when you notice how the mutant supervillains like Magneto and Apocalypse threaten entire nations or even the entire world, and yet it's always up to the X-Men and the other X-teams to stop them, with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the other super-teams nowhere to be found. This is a problem that exists in any shared comics world (just how bad do things have to get in Gotham before Superman shows up to lend a hand?), but it is especially apparent in the Marvel universe when Magneto is yet again threatening to overthrow the American government.

If I'm being honest, there are two more good reasons to leave the other mutants out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: mutation is a lazy excuse to give characters superpowers, and the other mutants besides Wolverine are usually just not that interesting. Even the ones that I usually like, such as Storm and Rogue, were unfortunately miscast in the movies.

Bringing over Hugh Jackman as Wolverine would bring over a great, interesting character, while avoiding the bloated and played-out X-Men storylines and characters. Hugh Jackman has previously joked about playing Wolverine until he dies, and he has even claimed that a Wolverine appearance in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie was a "possibility." While I realize that he is not getting any younger, I sincerely hope he has a few more movies as Wolverine left in him, at least until he gets a chance to appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.

And if they can't work out the rights to Wolverine, at least give Hugh Jackman a cameo in a movie set in the MCU. Give him the sideburns and the hair, and have him sitting at a bar when the Avengers walk in, raising a glass in Steve Rogers's direction. Surely Fox doesn't own the rights to sideburns and beer, right?

At least that way I could add Wolverine to my MCU fanfiction without having to count it as a crossover!

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