Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to showcase the concept of alternate realities to the forefront, meaning that there's hope that versions of Marvel characters from past projects could make their presence felt against Benedict Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme and Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff.
The anticipation was further amplified after the confirmation that the MCU can now use Marvel characters from Fox like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. More so, this could hint that a multiversal film like the Doctor Strange sequel could incorporate iconic characters like Michael Fassbender's Magneto and even Evan Peters' Quicksilver.
One of the frontrunners in fans' wishlist for a potential MCU debut is Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. The Marvel actor has been addressing the rumors like wildfire in previous interviews, confirming that “there's nothing in [his] inbox from [Marvel Studios President] Kevin Feige,” so a return is probably “not on the table.”
In addition, Jackman also shared that he is at peace with the idea of another actor taking over the role of Wolverine for the MCU, admitting that he knew that "it was the right time for [him[ to leave the party" during 2017's Logan.
Now, it looks like Jackman's comeback to the Marvel multiverse almost happened.
HUGH JACKMAN: A MARVEL HOMECOMING?
Twitter user @ViewerAnon shared that Marvel Studios reportedly wanted Hugh Jackman to return as Wolverine for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but, for one reason or another, plans fell through. The original plan was to feature a fight between Jackman's Wolverine and Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff, ultimately ending with the former being defeated.
"Last year I hinted that LOGAN might be not be Hugh Jackman's last performance as Wolverine. That's because they wanted him for DOCTOR STRANGE 2 to fight Wanda (and get his ass decimated). Apparently it didn't end up happening."
Movie insider Daniel Richtman responded to this claim by simply tweeting "Yup," hinting that this was indeed the original plan for the Doctor Strange sequel.
This comes after a recent rumor from Richtman in which he claimed that the Scarlet Witch will be locked in combat with "someone from the Fox-Verse" in the sequel.
WILL HUGH JACKMAN EVENTUALLY MAKE HIS MCU DEBUT?
While fans can take this rumor with a grain of salt, many would agree that it makes sense for Marvel Studios to at least reach out to Hugh Jackman for a potential comeback, especially considering the actor's impressive portrayal of Wolverine in Fox's X-Men films.
However, it's possible that Jackman turned down the return due to the fact that his Wolverine would end up succumbing to the Scarlet Witch. If this was indeed the case, many would agree that Jackman's return would be diminished as that could be his last performance as the fan-favorite mutant.
Interestingly, in the pages of Marvel Comics, a duel between the Scarlet Witch and Wolverine happened, and it actually didn't end well for the latter. As pointed out by Screen Rant, the fight happened during What If --? (1989) #25, where a brainwashed Wanda Maximoff brutally murdered Wolverine by transforming his molecules into anti-matter.
This goes to show Wanda's insane power levels, and it's reasonable to assume that Multiverse of Madness will showcase a similar sequence to cement the dominance of the Avenger.
At this stage, it is unknown if Jackman will still return as Wolverine in a future MCU project like Deadpool 3 or another multiversal project like Secret Wars. While the X-Men actor previously pointed out that he would've continued playing the character for the MCU if Disney acquired Fox sooner, it looks like Jackman is happy to witness a rebooted Wolverine from the sidelines.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to premiere in theaters on March 25, 2022.