With Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures striking a deal to put Spider-Man in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), it could potentially open the door for all kinds of crossover possibilities for other Marvel characters scattered across many film studios. Now that Spidey is scheduled to appear in a Marvel movie, that leaves Wolverine as the biggest-name hero left out in the cold, MCU-less world.
Speaking with Geek.com, Hugh Jackman – who has played the famous mutant for over a decade now – cautiously hinted at his interest in seeing Wolverine be a part of the MCU:
“There’s so many forces at play there, man, beyond what anyone would want. The thing I’ve always loved about the comic-book world is how the fun thing was how a writer of a comic book could just pull all these characters together and what became a Friday-night discussion of ‘it would be cool to see Batman fight Wolverine’ and bang, Monday morning they’re working on it, you know. But that’s an idealized world.”
Jackman kept his response professional, of course, but as most fans who aren’t contractually obligated to stay neutral would tell you – Wolverine would be a welcome addition to the MCU. The bulk of the X-Men might be difficult to fit into crossovers with The Avengers and their solo movies, but Wolverine would be as simple as it will be with Spider-Man, seeing as both of them are well-known members of The Avengers.
The argument can be made that it was Wolverine, or more specifically the X-Men, that kicked off the sea of movie money that Marvel is currently swimming in. Prior to Brian Singer bringing the long-running comic series to life in 2000, Marvel was non-existent on the big screen stage – DC Comic’s several Batman iterations ruled the box office instead.
When 20th Cenury Fox released X-Men in 2000 it started a domino effect of box office hit after box office hit for Marvel-based films. With the exception of a couple Punisher flops and an Elektra film that is best forgotten about, every film based off of a Marvel property since has made well over $100 million. Being that they had no way to make the films themselves, Marvel was more than happy to spread their licensing over several different studios at the time. Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, and the X-Men rights were licensed to 20th Century Fox, and Spider-Man was licensed to Sony. Long-lasting continuity spanning multiple characters was mostly unheard of at the time in film, so it was unlikely even a consideration at the time.
Relationships between Fox and Marvel have been less than stellar lately, however. Marvel has reportedly wanted the movie rights to their mutants for some time now, but Fox has not budged an inch. While that is their right to do so, being as they own the rights fair and square, it is also Marvel’s right to kill off the characters in the comic books – which they have done. The Fantastic Four comic series has ended, Wolverine has died, and Deadpool is scheduled to die later this year. Marvel has never said outright that these acts are meant to harm 20th Century Fox’s movie rights going forward, but the surgical strikes against properties that the movie studio owns is pretty clear.
It also appears as if Marvel is replacing the X-Men entirely with The Inhumans, a similar mutant group of characters that Marvel Studios owns the rights to. Along with an Inhumans film coming in 2017 (potentially starring Vin Diesel no less), they are also set to make some big wave’s on Agents of SHIELD when it returns in March. There are also rumors that, following the Secret Wars crossover event in May, the X-Men will be wiped away entirely and replaced with The Inhumans.
So, if appearing in an Avengers flick is something that Hugh Jackman truly wants, whether or not he can say it, he’ll probably be waiting a while just like the rest of us. For what it’s worth, if he ever wants to ditch Wolverine and hop over to Marvel Studios he could probably pull off a pretty decent Gorgon.