After a few years apart, Hugh Jackman is ready to once again rule the big screen as the Wolverine with back-to-back summer movies.
And unlike his previous four outings as the clawed Canadian, this summer’s “The Wolverine” and 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” push both Jackman and his iconic character into new and exciting directions. While his solo film, which opens later this month, throws a beat-down Logan into the Japanese underworld, next year’s time-traveling team-up throws the X-Man into a new decade.
“Weirdly, his hair is kind of ’70s,” Jackman tells MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, when asked about portraying the hero during the Nixon administration. “The chops are kind of ’70s. He really got stuck in the ’70s, let’s face it. Even getting into the cars, it feels like Wolverine. I’ve been ad-libbing a whole lot of lines where he’s like, ‘Yeah, this is how a car was made’ and ‘Yeah, I can smoke my cigar in the pre-school.’ This is his time, the ’70s.”
Whereas the trilogy director Bryan Singer started with 2000’s “X-Men” was set in the present day, 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” was set in 1962. According to Jackman, Wolverine is the character that bridges the gap between the disparate timelines.
In the comics, the surviving X-Men of a post-apocalyptic future send the mind of an adult Kitty Pryde — played by Ellen Page in “X-Men: The Last Stand” — to the present day to prevent the one political assassination that changed history for the worse. This explains how Hugh Jackman, a character associated with the original trilogy, can make his way back to the 1970s and how original X-Men like Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Page have a role to play in the film alongside returning “X-Men: First Class” actors Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult.
“It’s been so fascinating to me because, in a way, I’ve been sort of right in the heart of every one of the ‘X-Men’ movies,” says Jackman. “All of a sudden, after the first six weeks where we did most of the future stuff, I was coming into a movie where Bryan Singer and I have worked together, but on came this ensemble that had worked together [on ‘First Class’] and they had their own dynamic. It was almost like stepping into their movie and an all-new thing, which really was fascinating and fantastic.”
While fans may be cautious that Jackman’s sixth and seventh appearances as Wolverine could be his last, Jackman stresses that he’s still having a great time. “I’m really kind of loving it more than ever. Right now I’m filming [‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’] and I’m loving it. I’m loving playing the character, being back with the old gang, working with the new gang. It’s so exciting… It’s a rare thing to play a character seven times, and it’s an even rarer thing to feel that scripts and opportunities are better than ever.”
When asked if he could foresee handing over the claws, Jackman got very proprietary. “I’m not ready to say yet that I’m done.”
Check out everything we have on “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”