It’s hard to imagine anyone else other than Hugh Jackman in the role of Wolverine. Since 2000, he’s been the ripped superhero in 7 X-Men movies. Currently filming the third Wolverine movie (his 8th in the series), Jackman has gone public in saying that once that movie is done, he is saying goodbye to Wolverine. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been watching Jackman as the man for over 15 years. Now 47 years old, Jackman thinks it’s time to allow a younger actor a chance at the iconic anti-hero role.
Jackman has publicly credited Russell Crowe with helping him to get the role. Apparently, just after he made Gladiator in 2000, Crowe was offered the role and turned it down, saying he had just done a Gladiator thing. But, he told the production team they should take a look at Jackman, and the rest is history. So, who are the hot actors who might replace Jackman? Jackman himself has done a sort of Russell Crowe type of move and indicated one or two favorites. Some of the names that keep appearing on lists are well known, and some are up and coming. And some are the talented sons of major Hollywood hunks. Here’s a list of 12 actors who could take on the role of Wolverine.
12. Liam Hemsworth
The Aussie hottie is reportedly back on again with Miley Cyrus. He’s had a string of action hits in The Hunger Games films. Some say he might be a little too clean cut for Logan/Wolverine. Plus, at 6’3″, he’s a foot taller than the character portrayed in the comics. But then again, Jackman is 6’2″ and so maybe it doesn’t really matter. As Liam’s portrayal of Billy the Kid in Expendables 2 proved, he can do a pretty good gritty anti-hero. Another plus? He’s only 26, young enough to take the role pretty far down the road.
11. Scott Eastwood
Yes, it’s that Eastwood; Clint is his dad. Okay, to begin with, Mark Hughes of Forbes has picked Clint Eastwood as the best candidate for Wolverine if you could time travel and pick anyone from any time, and Scott is clearly a chip off the old block. And we know that Scott is in the hot summer DC Comics superhero movie, Suicide Squad. Plus, when Universal cast the Fast and Furious Fast 8, they added a new character and cast Scott Eastwood in the action role. So, all in all, we think the 30-something up and coming star is in with a Wolverine chance.
10. Joel Edgerton
According to moviefone.com, the Aussie actor “is a very quiet force of nature, able to slip, nimble and unnoticed, into a wide variety of roles.” Just one look at his turns as Pharoah Ramses II in a Ridley Scott film, a decadent character in The Great Gatsby, together with appearances in Star Wars films, prove the point. The 40-something year old has a certain sinister air about him that makes him perfect for anti-hero Wolverine. And he’s buff enough to thrill and scare us all at the same time.
9. Dwayne Johnson
This may be a bit of a long shot. After all, the wrestler/actor known as “The Rock” is 44 and only a few years younger than Jackman, but he’s got the street cred, having done Fast and Furious and Fast 8. He’s also set to star in the much anticipated Pulp Fiction magazine to movie version of Doc Savage. Some say he is too much of a “Hulk” figure to take on the lithe and fierce Wolverine. And we just can’t get his turn as a Tooth Fairy in the 2010 film of the same name out of our heads.
8. Scott Caan
Another chip off the old block, 39 year old Scott Caan is the son of Hollywood tough guy, actor James Caan. Scott has done movies, but is probably best known as Danny Williams in the long running TV hit Hawaii Five-O. Ruggedly handsome and ripped in all the right places, he is in with a chance to take on Wolverine. He’s got a bit of an edge and a “don’t mess with me” look that probably makes his old man proud.
7. Jake Gyllenhaal
We think Gyllenhaal has the dark and brooding Wolverine look about him. Gyllenhaal has not really done the superhero thing, sticking to classic roles in movies like Nightcrawler (2014) and Love and Other Drugs (2010). But, at 35 and 5’11”, he’s the right age and the right height. Plus, reportedly he’s a huge fan of superhero movies, saying that they inspire him. There were rumors that he might appear in Suicide Squad. Alas, Variety reported that he passed on playing Rick Flag in the film. What, we wonder, would he think of Wolverine?
6. Shia LaBeouf
This former Disney TV star has made the transition into films in a big way. He’s been Sam Witwicky in Transformers, as well as making appearances in the Indiana Jones franchise. He was menacing and dangerous in Charlie Countryman. But, he’s had his problems, with police involvement in disputes and fights and accusations of plagiarism. A bit of a bad boy, but when you are playing Wolverine, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
5. Penn Badgley
He certainly has the dark and brooding look of anti-hero Wolverine. At 29 and 5’9″, he seems to fit the bill, and he’s had loads of experience, both on TV and in films. He was Dan Humphrey on CW’s series Gossip Girl, Emma Stone’s love interest in Easy A (2010), and Seth Bregman in the financial thriller Margin Call (2011). And he’s a singer with New York indie band, Mother. His first big break came in 1998 with a part in TV’s Will and Grace. He may have dissed Gossip Girl, but he has said his on-screen kiss with co-star Blake Lively, was the best ever.
4. Kit Harrington
Believe it or not, the 20-something English actor has complained of experiencing sexism in the entertainment arena. That aside, the world knows him as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. And one look at shots of his buff bod and impressive six pack on display in the show will demonstrate one very good reason for why he is being mentioned as a possible Jackman replacement. Plus, he’s also built up an impressive record of film and television work. Recently, he replaced Robert Pattinson in the 2016 film Brimstone, after the Twilight star dropped out amid rumors that love interest FKA Twigs told him not to do the film.
3. Henry Cavill
Can an actor go from good guy Superman to anti-hero Wolverine? Some say Henry Cavill could. They cite his dark good looks, his strong, charismatic presence, and his performance in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Before hitting Hollywood, British actor Cavill was a regular on British TV. His portrayal of Charles Brandon in Showtime’s The Tudors led to international acclaim. And Russell Crowe crops up in Cavill’s story. When? As a young school boy, he was an extra on a Crowe film, and he got the chance to ask Crowe what being an actor was like. His reply? The pay is good, but they treat you like sh*t.
2. Kevin Hart
The Ride Along 2 star is perhaps best known for his comedic roles. But, he is tipped as a contender for Wolverine. Perhaps Wolverine could benefit from a slight personality makeover? The 30-something American comic, actor, writer and producer, is sometimes described as “small”. That refers to his 5’3″ height, which is spot on to the description of the comic book Wolverine character. And like many comedians, he has shown a remarkable talent for bringing out a wide range of emotions in his roles. Hart could bring a whole new dimension to the role of everybody’s favorite anti-hero.
1. Tom Hardy
Currently just about everybody’s favorite for the role (screenrant.com has done a mock up of a cigar smoking Hardy sporting Wolverine’s menacing claws), English actor Tom Hardy seems to have it all. None other than Hugh Jackman has said Hardy would be great in the role. He’s got a quirky, menacing side and a kick a** no nonsense side that would be perfect for the part of Wolverine. And he’s got the muscle, in every sense of the word. The Mad Max: Fury Road and Revenant star is currently being seen on British television playing a charismatic thug who rules the roost in BBC’s Peaky Blinders.