Following Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox, many fans are anxiously awaiting the MCU debut of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, two groups the studio had previously been unable to use. While both films are believed to be a long way down the line still, that hasn't stopped moviegoers from making their theories and fan castings for the two popular groups.
Given the strong fan base that Fox's X-Men franchise built over its nineteen years of hit-and-miss films, there is naturally a calling among many for the original actors to reprise their roles in the MCU.
Despite the former stars themselves having shut down speculation plenty of times, people continue to heavily analyze any evidence. A new piece of which has arisen once again, seemingly hinting towards Hugh Jackman's MCU involvement, or has it?
HUGH JACKMAN SHARES CRYPTIC WOLVERINE IMAGE
In a cryptic series of Instagram Stories, former Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman has shared art of his X-Men character, as well as an image of himself with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
On July 4, 2021, Jackman shared a piece of artwork from popular designer Boss Logic, featuring Wolverine's iconic adamantium claws.
Following this, the Australian actor posted a picture of himself with the Marvel producer.
It's worth noting, the actor's latest story was followed by a tribute to Superman director Richard Donner, who recently passed away. The legendary filmmaker served as a producer on X-Men alongside associate producer Feige as well as an executive producer on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, both films in which Hugh Jackman led as the savage mutant Wolverine.
IS JACKMAN JOINING THE MCU?
Some fans may be eager to jump to the conclusion from this series of posts that Hugh Jackman is eyeing a return to his Wolverine mantle in the MCU. However, it seems far more believable that these two separate events just so happened to line up in an unfortunate coincidence.
In the initial post, the actor appears to have simply been sharing an impressive piece of art related to a character he spent fifteen years of his life with. Meanwhile, the image with Marvel legend Kevin Feige looks to have been a part of his tribute to Richard Donner and the production the three of them shared.
Despite this, it's hard to explain why the actor would opt to share an image of himself with just Feige to pay tribute to the late Donner. The wholesome photo in question looks to be from the production of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a film the legendary director had no involvement with.
However, after a quick search of “Hugh Jackman and Richard Donner,” the image in question is one of the first to appear on Google Images, potentially explaining the decision. Many celebrities don't personally manage their social media, instead of using contracted managers to handle it for them, meaning Jackman may not have posted this himself.
While this story probably doesn't mean anything, if Jackman were to reprise his role, it would likely just be for a brief cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and not to become Wolverine again long term. Given the film will see the Sorcerer Supreme hopping between universes, revisiting some classic Marvel Legacy worlds, even briefly, would drive many fans crazy.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is expected to see former Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield return to their iconic roles, so clearly nothing is out the question in Kevin Feige's eyes.
The X-Men are believed to be making their MCU debut in The Mutants, an upcoming film that is reported to be in the early stages of productions. In the event that Wolverine features in the mutants' first appearance, he will likely have a new actor attached as Hugh Jackman has previously reiterated that Fox's Logan was his last go-around as the hero.