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How to watch all Wolverine movies in chronological and release order

Ever wanted to dive into Wolverine movies and don't know where to start? We've got you.

The Wolverine (2013) poster
20th Century Fox

He’s strong, he’s short-tempered, and he’s got sharp metal claws. When it comes to comic book film stars, Wolverine is in a league of his own.


Hugh Jackman began portraying the character in the 2000 film X-Men, and has gone on to reprise the role in numerous sequels and spin-offs. Wolverine is one of the most recognizable members of the X-Men, a popular superhero team comprised of mutants. Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the beloved character has ensured that Wolverine’s legacy will never die. If you’re looking to dive into Wolverine’s cinematic career and don't know where to start, we’ve compiled a few lists to get you started.

Every Wolverine film in release order

X-Men Origins: Wolverine key art

Hugh Jackman’s career as Wolverine dates all the way back to the beginning of the century. Wolverine made his cinematic debut in the 2000 film X-Men, and appeared steadily in films until Jackman chose to retire the character in the 2017 film Logan. Thanks to the upcoming Deadpool 3 film, it appears that the retirement will only be temporary. If you’re looking to track Jackman’s career as Wolverine, here are all his films in release order.

It should be noted that not all these films are full-length feature appearances. For example, Wolverine only appears for one scene in X-Men: First Class, and his appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse is very brief. Wolverine’s appearance in Deadpool 2 is a brief cameo that uses a combination of new and unused footage from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The appearance is for the purpose of a joke, and it’s less than a minute long. However, we’re including all those appearances here for the purpose of completion. Just don’t expect a lot of Wolverine action in Deadpool 2.

Every Wolverine film in chronological order

X2: X-Men United publicity still

The X-Men film franchise that Wolverine appears in has the tendency to jump around the timeline. For example, the film X-Men: First Class is a prequel to the 2000 X-Men film, taking place in a different decade.

If you would prefer to watch the films in a chronological order, we’ve put together a list to help you. It should be noted that some films take place across multiple time periods. For example, X-Men Origins: Wolverine has some scenes set in 1845, but the majority of the film takes place in 1979. In that instance, we’ve placed the film right after X-Men: Days of Future Past, where a majority of the scenes are set in 1973. We’ve made an exception for Deadpool 2. While the film takes place in 2018, the Wolverine cameo is set in 1979 concurrently with his appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Since this watch order is focused on Wolverine, we’ve set the chronology for Deadpool 2 based on when he appeared.

  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)/Deadpool 2 (2018)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  • X-Men (2000)
  • X2: X-Men United (2003)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • Logan (2017)

How does the timeline work?

X-Men: Days of Future Past promo pic

The X-Men films take place in two different timelines, which can be confusing as you’re following Wolverine’s story. This is due to the 2023 version of Wolverine traveling back to 1973 in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past. Wolverine’s actions in the past alter the timeline, resulting in a new continuity when he returns to the future.

If you’re confused, we suggest using the Back to the Future films as an example. After Marty McFly returns from 1955 in the first film, he finds that his family’s status quo has changed in 1985. The timeline in the X-Men movies works the same way. That’s why the version of Wade Wilson we see in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is different from the one we see in the Deadpool films, even though they’re both played by Ryan Reynolds.

If it helps, just remember that every movie released before 2014 takes place in the original timeline, while every film released afterwards takes place in the new timeline. If you’re still confused, then our next list should help you out.

Follow Wolverine’s story in time travel order

Wolverine’s time travel journey can make a chronological watch-through of his filmography a bit confusing, so we’ve created a time travel order to help make sense of things. This watchlist follows Wolverine’s adventures in the original timeline chronologically, followed by his trip to the past, then his chronological adventures in the new timeline.

Original Timeline

  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)/Deadpool 2 (2018)
  • X-Men (2000)
  • X2: X-Men United (2003)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  • The Wolverine (2013)

Wolverine travels back to 1973 and changes the timeline

  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

The Altered Timeline Begins

  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  • Logan (2017)

Wolverine in the original X-Men series

X-Men 2000 film poster

If you’re just looking to watch Wolverine’s appearances in the original X-Men film franchise, here’s how you would do it.

  • X-Men (2000)
  • X2: X-Men United (2003)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Wolverine’s appearances in the First Class series

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men: First Class (2011)

In 2011, 20th Century Fox began a new series of X-Men films. These films were set in the past, and focused on the early days of the team. It’s hard to imagine an X-Men series without Wolverine, so naturally he was included. Wolverine has a small role in X-Men: First Class and X-Men Apocalypse, but he’s a key player in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Although the 2019 film Dark Phoenix is the final chapter of this series, Wolverine does not appear in the movie, therefore it isn’t included on this list.

  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

The Wolverine trilogy

Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine (2013)

The popularity of Wolverine led to a trilogy of solo films starring the character. Interestingly, each installment of the Wolverine trilogy took place during a different time period. X-Men Origins: Wolverine focused on his early days before meeting the X-Men. The Wolverine took place in contemporary times, and dealt with the fallout of the events seen in the original X-Men trilogy. Logan took place in 2029, and (SPOILERS) ends with the death of Wolverine. Although it might seem disjointed, the Wolverine trilogy tells us the beginning, the middle, and the end of Wolverine’s life, making it an interesting biography on the famous mutant.

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • Logan (2017)

Is Logan canon?

Logan publicity poster

The film Logan is set in 2029, taking place after every other film in the X-Men franchise. Logan paints a dark picture of the future for mutants. Prior to the events of the film, Xavier’s diminishing health had caused him to accidentally unleash a psychic attack, killing all of the X-Men. Wolverine survived due to his rapid healing powers. The bleakness of this future, and Wolverine’s death at the conclusion, has caused some viewers to speculate that the film takes place in an alternate timeline.

In the leadup to the film’s release Hugh Jackman told Digital Spy that Logan took place in a separate timeline. However this statement was clarified by director James Mangold, who stated that Logan was set in the same continuity as the rest of the X-Men films.

Some viewers have noted that Wolverine and Xavier discuss the events of the 2000 X-Men film, which was erased after Logan time traveled in X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, the conclusion of X-Men: Days of Future Past established that both Wolverine and Xavier remember the original timeline, which explains why they reference the events in Logan.

Are the Wolverine movies part of the MCU?

Deadpool 3

Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men film series do not take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, that may soon change. Years before the launch of the MCU, Marvel licensed the X-Men film rights to 20th Century Fox. This meant that Marvel Studios did not have the film rights to incorporate Wolverine into the MCU. Some X-Men elements made it into the MCU, like Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, but they were not depicted as mutants (at least, so far).

In 2019 Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, which opened the door to introducing the X-Men into the MCU. Recent MCU projects have alluded to the existence of mutants, and Patrick Stewart reprised his role as Charles Xavier (albeit a different version) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Although Hugh Jackman initially viewed Logan as his farewell to Wolverine, it was recently announced that he would be reprising the character in Deadpool 3, which is expected to be released in 2024. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that Deadpool 3 will be set in the MCU. This means that Wolverine and possibly other elements from X-Men will be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time.

There is no word on how the MCU timeline and the X-Men timeline will merge, but both franchises have dealt with time travel and alternate realities, so there are many possibilities. Whatever happens, it seems like Wolverine’s film career isn’t over. Stay tuned to Popverse as we continue to bring you the latest news about Wolverine, his X-Men allies, and all your favorite pop culture icons.

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About the Author
Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Contributing writer

Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.

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