Over the past 17 years, we’ve seen Hugh Jackman play Wolverine an astounding nine times on the big screen. Even if you’re not a fan of the X-Men film franchise, you probably know all about Jackman’s Wolverine. He’s arguably created the most beloved big-screen superhero (though Robert Downey Jr.‘s Iron Man might have something to say about that), and he’s almost single-handedly made the X-Men film franchise what it is today. So, now that he’s said that he’s hanging up his claws for good after the upcoming Logan, is there anything out there that you don’t know about Jackman’s Wolverine? Yeah, probably.
What we’ve done in this list is avoid all the common knowledge stuff. If you’re looking for the basic information, there are countless articles written on the character, so get out there and eat your heart out. In here, we’re looking at the newest and/or least talked about information. Some of it is from his earliest days playing the character and some from the film we haven’t even seen yet. It’s possible that die-hard fans have known some of these tidbits in this list once upon a time, but they may have forgotten them somewhere along the way in the past two decades. So, let’s dig into it and see if we can’t tell you something you don’t already know about the longest-running superhero actor in the business. Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.
15. Wolverine’s Cold Shower Trick
Many people credit Hugh Jackman with playing the perfect Wolverine. Since the very beginning on X-Men, Jackman seems to have found that perfect place where he ends and Wolverine begins. So, how does he do it? And how does he recreate it with each new film? Well, one of the ways he does it is by picturing cold showers. Seriously, here’s what he said: “I use tricks for myself, little tools. I’ve done a little thing on every Wolverine movie, which is almost a superstition now. I have an ice-cold shower every morning. It started when we were making the first X-Men in Toronto. I had to wake up at 5am for filming and it was cold. I wanted to get a shower but there was no hot water. So I just jumped in and I couldn’t make any noise because I didn’t want to wake up my wife. But I remember I just wanted to scream some swear words yet I just didn’t. I stayed in the cold water washing for 35 seconds and I said to myself, ‘That’s it. That’s Wolverine. He wants to yell and scream and take everybody’s head off and be angry but he can’t. He’s trying to hold it in.’ Ever since that moment I have had a cold shower every morning. If you imagine waking up and having an ice-cold shower, all you have to do is remember it and instantly you just want to smack someone.”
14. Wolverine in Deadpool’s Future?
When asked if Logan is for sure going to be his last hoorah as the character Wolverine, Jackman said, “When I had the script, I was like, ‘Yes, and when I was shooting the movie, yes. As I sit here today, yes.” Sounds pretty convincing, doesn’t it? But then he added, “God knows how I’ll feel in three years.” So you’re saying there’s a chance! This is surely enough motivation for Ryan Reynolds, who has not been shy about saying he’s going to try and make Jackman see the light. “I have no idea if I can change [Jackman’s] mind [about a team up],” he said. “It’s the audience: I would exclusively exploit that relationship to get Hugh back for another one.” Here’s hoping Reynolds and the fans succeed in their mission.
13. Managing Wolverine’s Height
Fans of the comic will know that Wolverine is actually a short and stocky guy. In the comics, when his height is mentioned, they have him at 5’3. Now, some artists have obviously depicted him at various heights, but this short height seems to be canon. Way back when Jackman was cast as Wolverine, some fans questioned the decision if only because of Jackman’s 6’2 height. How would the filmmakers overcome this? Well, the X-Men team had 5’10 James Marsden, who played Cyclops, for instance, wear platform shoes or stand on a box to have him appear taller than Jackman in some scenes. Even still, there’s no way that he was ever actually 5’3 in the films. Otherwise, Rebecca Romijn’s Mystique would have been a full eight inches taller than him.
12. Scars and Aging
Some fans took notice of the fact that Jackman’s version of Logan in Logan has quite a few scars, which had a lot of people wondering what was up, why don’t his healing abilities fix all those scars? When asked about it, director James Mangold, said, “We imagined that it may have when he was younger, but with age, he’s getting older and ailing. Perhaps his healing factor no longer produces baby-soft skin. So we imagined he heals quickly, still, but it leaves a scar. The simple idea was that his body would start to get a little more ravaged with a kind of tattooing of past battles, lacerations that remain of previous conflicts.” Now this isn’t all that crazy when compared to the comic books. You have to think that Logan’s healing factor is always working. His adamantium skeleton is constantly poisoning him from the inside out, so his healing power has been working overtime for a long time. You would think that over time it would diminish in effectiveness, if only slightly.
11. Wolverine vs. the Drake Family Cat
In X2, Wolverine helps himself to a cold beer in Bobby Drake/Iceman’s house when the family cat startles him and causes him to extract his claws. Now, if you’ve paid attention, you’ve noticed that the sound of Wolverine’s claws extending and retracting is the same sound, only played in reverse. So, the cat begins licking Wolverine’s claws and the camera cuts away. Presumably, at this time, Wolverine retracts his claws slowly because we don’t hear the retracting sound. We know they’ve retracted, though, because, when Bobby’s mother and brother enter the kitchen, Wolverine is startled once again and we hear the sound of his claws extending and the cat cry out. This was supposed to be a little joke that was to be edited out, but they left it in for whatever reason.
10. Berserker Rage Was Too Intense for Censors
One of the big issues with Wolverine’s character on the big screen for many fans has been the relative lack of berserker rage. Fans of the comic will know that Wolverine’s berserker rage makes him lose control of himself and fly into a crazed frenzy. It’s something people were dying to see from the very beginning. We did get a small taste of it in X2, when Stryker’s men raided the X-Men Mansion. Wolverine went ballistic and made mincemeat out of several henchmen. Apparently, the script called for quite a bit more than what was shown in the final cut, but it had to be curtailed for censor approval. The extra violence was something that Jackman himself fought for. “I thought there was more action, but I still said, ‘we’ve gotta get even more action in,’ Jackman said when speaking about the X2 script. “So, I kind of fought for a little bit more in the mansion sequence particularly.” Since the upcoming Logan is rated-R, we should can expect to see some real uncut berserker rage for the first time.
9. The Slaughter of X-Men
While it’s unclear what all will be used as source material for the upcoming Logan film, it can’t hurt to have some background knowledge on the possible sources. If you’ve seen the trailers, you know that Logan seems to have left the Wolverine persona behind. You’ve also probably noticed that, outside of Xavier (Patrick Stewart), there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of other X-Men around. It’s looks very likely that they’ve used the Old Man Logan storyline as their primary source. In this arc, we learn that the X-Mansion was attacked by a large group of super-villains one night many years before Old Man Logan takes place. Unable to find help, Wolverine took matters into his own hands and unleashed a fury like never before, killing all of them. After he kills the last villain, however, the entire thing was revealed to be an illusion. In reality, he killed all of the X-Men. Now that’s cold-blooded.
8. Fitting Words on the Samurai Sword
In The Wolverine, we see a series of flashbacks in which Wolverine saves the life of a young Ichirō Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) by sheltering him from a nuclear blast. To pay him back, Yashida wants to give him a samurai sword, a sword named Danzan, which means separator. Wolverine tells him that he’ll come back for it at another time. If you look at the blade, there are six Kanji letters engraved on it. They read: “Never Died, Never Aged, Never Destroyed.” Obviously, these words have a dual purpose, speaking both to the quality of the steel and Wolverine himself.
7. The Little Logan
If you’ve not heard of X-23 or Laura Kinney from the comics, you probably don’t know that there’s an arc in the comics where Logan is no longer Wolverine, Kinney is. You see, X-23/Kinney is a female clone of Wolverine. At some point during the comics, Logan dies and X-23 takes over the mantle as Wolverine. In the upcoming film, Logan, X-23 (Dafne Keen) might be set up to take over the claws from Hugh Jackman should he retire like many are expecting. This would allow the character to live on in another skin, so to speak, on the big screen. In the comics, X-23 and Wolverine become very close, sort of like father and daughter, so we should expect nothing less in Logan, especially since the story in Old Man Logan has a lot to do with family and loss in the first place.
6. Cameo in First Class
One of the truly beautiful moments in X-Men: First Class was the brilliant, albeit incredibly short, cameo by Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. In the scene, Eric (Michael Fassbender) and Xavier (James McAvoy) are creating the early incarnation of the X-Men. They approach Wolverine in a bar and introduce themselves. Immediately after saying their names, Wolverine tells them to “go bleep themselves.” It’s fantastic. When Jackman was first asked about it, he was unsure if he was going to participate, but then he learned that he would be the only one of the old crew to cameo and he would be the only character with a swear word in the film. So, naturally, he jumped at the opportunity.
5. Logan is in a Different World
The world you see in Logan might just be some dusty old town, but it does look post-apocalyptic, doesn’t it? This would play into the Old Man Logan setting, though it’s almost guaranteed it won’t be the exact same. Knowing about it might be informative if they keep it relatively secret in the film. It’s a fascinating world that has been dominated by super-villains. The leaders of the villains have divided up the land into territories and designated landowners (Doctor Doom, Abomination, Magneto/Kingpin, and President Red Skull). Logan lives in California which is part of Hulkland and governed by evil Bruce Banner himself. We know things won’t play out this exact way because of how Marvel rights have been distributed, but we do expect to see something of a post-mutant age. That being said, it would be awfully amazing to see Logan drive through Hank Pym’s/Giant-Man’s skeleton, which has been turned into a highway in the world of Old Man Logan.
4. No One Was Happy With Origins
Not really a big surprise, is it? Well, we acknowledge that everyone hates X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was a huge disappointment. But it’s not only movie-goers who were left unsatisfied; the entire team working on the film felt the same, including Hugh Jackman, Wolverine himself. “I had something to prove, and we could have done better,” said Jackman. “Somehow the first Wolverine movie ended up looking like the fourth X-Men — just with different characters. I left unsure if we’d achieved our goal, which was to make sure people understood my character.” Director Gavin Hood was slammed for his sullying of Deadpool, something he blames on the PG requirements and studio interference. “I think the character works so well now because the character is allowed to be who the character really is, unencumbered by, you know, PG-13 requirements and a great deal of marketing debate,” he said.
3. Wolverine’s Blood Coming Into Play
The little girl in Logan, X-23 (Dafne Moon), is a clone of Logan. If we do the math, we can figure out that she is the product of the Weapon X blood sample that we watched Mr. Sinister take during the post-credit scene in X-Men: Apocalypse. In the comics, X-23 is bred as a female because the blood sample they have is damaged and only the X chromosome can be used. Later, the child is exposed to radiation to incite her mutation. Unlike Wolverine, only her claws are coated with adamantium and not her entire skeleton. She also has what’s called a “trigger scent,” something that turns her into an uncontrollable killer and essentially marks a target for assassination.
2. Relationship With Rogue
If you were unfamiliar with the comics, the first film, X-Men, showed off a very paternal Wolverine and lonely little girl Rogue (Anna Paquin). This was a good match, but fans of the source material wondered why Rogue was put in this spot and not one of the characters who Wolverine really acts like a pseudo-father to, Jubilee and/or Kitty Pryde. Now, one of the answers could be that Rogue has better powers. This is certainly the case for Jubilee, who might be lamest of all X-Men in terms of powers. But Kitty Pryde is pretty cool. Later in the X-Men films, they basically just pull the ol’ bait-and-switch with Rogue and Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), even having Kitty take Rogue’s boyfriend, Iceman, and run with it. When making the first film, Bryan Singer said he wanted to have the daughter/father relationship with Logan, but he also wanted to have Rogue’s powers because they are so symbolic of mutant alienation, so he just merged all three characters into one.
1. Wolves vs Wolverines
When he was preparing to play the character of Wolverine for the first time, Jackman tells the embarrassing story of how he studied wolves instead of wolverines to learn about the animalistic inspiration for the character. “Not knowing what a wolverine was, that it was actually a real animal, I was going past the IMAX, and I saw this [movie theater] showing of wolves,” he said. “I went in there, and that’s where I had this whole [thing of facing down], like wolves smelling the ground while I’m looking.” Apparently, Jackman was using this type of behavior on set until the director, Bryan Singer, approached him and asked him what he was doing, though he was interested by the whole routine. Jackman told him, “Yeah, man, I’ve been studying wolves and I think if we could bring that to the screen,” which led Singer to say, “What? You’re not a wolf, man, you’re a wolverine.” Confused, Jackman responded, “Yeah, but obviously there’s no wolverine.” With a perplexed look, Singer had to be the one to tell Jackman that a wolverine is “actually an animal.”