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Hugh Jackman's one-movie deal for Deadpool and Wolverine is good for both him and the MCU

How long are we going to expect him to stay that ripped?

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
Image credit: 20th Century Fox

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Just when we all thought he was hanging up his adamantium claws for good, Hugh Jackman has been lured back for one last outing as Wolverine in Deadpool and Wolverine. Out in cinemas on July 26, 2024, the sequel will mark Jackman’s 10th time playing Wolverine (11th if you count archival footage used at the end of Deadpool 2), but it is also remarkable thanks to the deal he’s struck with Marvel - not because of the salary he will receive, but because it is only a one-movie deal.

The MCU was built on the idea of locking actors into these roles for as long as possible. Samuel L. Jackson, for example, was contracted to play Nick Fury for nine films starting with Iron Man, and that was before the MCU was even a thing. Marvel Studios loves to sign actors to long-term contracts because it builds the sense of continuity that the MCU has become known for. The likes of Ed Norton and Terrance Howard are the exception rather than the rule.

So how has Jackman gotten away with breaking this trend? Partly because it is how he has always done things. While he originally signed on to play Wolverine in a two-picture deal starting with X-Men, since then he has always negotiated each movie as it came. This has given him the flexibility to turn down projects he didn’t feel were right, though we have to wonder why he chose to sign on for X-Men Origins: Wolverine in that case.

The one-movie deal for Wolverine makes sense from Disney’s perspective as well. Even though this gives Deadpool 3 an immediate hook to get fans interested, Hugh Jackman is not - and should not be - the man who will be playing Wolverine in the MCU in 10 years' time. While we’d love to look as good as he does at 55, it isn’t reasonable to expect him to maintain that physique into his 60s. Besides, he’s done everything he’s likely to do with the character. The longer he spends in the role, the less of a swan-song Logan feels like. If Marvel eventually manages to bring the X-Men into the MCU proper, it will be the perfect time for someone else to step into the role.

We’re not saying that we don’t love the fact that Hugh Jackman is back for Deadpool and Wolverine. It has plenty of potential for great comedic and dramatic moments and works within the context of the Deadpool franchise. However, we wouldn’t get our hopes up for seeing him in the role much longer. The MCU needs its own version of the character to give us something new and fresh.

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Deadpool & Wolverine


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About the Author
Trent Cannon avatar

Trent Cannon


Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)