Famed Marvel comic book writer, Mark Millar recently made a prediction that Kingsman’s very own Taron Egerton would be the one to pick up where Hugh Jackman left off as Wolverine. Millar’s influence is clear to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) from the franchise’s Avengers mirroring that of his own version of the team, the Ultimates to his iteration of a black Nick Fury. As much as we have nothing but respect for the man and the work he has done, we’re going to have to respectfully disagree with his choice in Egerton. There’s nothing wrong with Egerton as an actor, we thought he did great in Kingsman and he seems to be killing it right now with Rocketman.
That being said, we just don’t think he would fit the bill for Wolverine. The character has a world-wearied, grizzled ferocity about him that few can truly capture. The actor playing Logan has to be able to reflect that in both physique and performance, so with all due respect Egerton, you’re a tad green for the role.
With that in mind, we do in fact have a number of candidates we think should definitely be considered for the role of Wolverine in the MCU. Folks who have demonstrated that they have what it takes to bring out the beast in the man!
1. Gerard Butler
These days, the veteran Scottish actor has had little to do safe for the occasional voice work in animated films or perhaps a B-grade action film or two. Won’t lie, Butler hasn’t always been known for his emotionally layered or complex performances but there’s one thing the man does not lack: intensity. The man is best known for his role in 2007’s adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300 for a reason. In an orgy of blood and steel, Butter still manages to deliver memorable line after memorable line with all the gusto and command of a drill sergeant. Perhaps if the MCU is going for a more weathered Wolverine, Butler could be of service. He certainly looks the part, sporting his signature rugged beard and hair. All they need to do is trim a little off to make room for some sideburns.
It’s not just about the looks though, the man has shown that he is also capable of selling himself as a furious fighter. Beyond his time in 300, we’ve seen Butler kick major ass in films like Gamer and London Has Fallen. Disney’s Marvel is known for taking chances with B-grade action icons like Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Mickey Rourke. I know Butler’s a tad rusty in the acting department but given enough time and some good training, he’ll be back on his feet giving badass one-liners and ripping folks apart in no time. Just picture the way Leonidas tore into those Persians but this time it’s Wolverine against a room full of armed HYDRA agents.
2. Liev Schreiber
You probably don’t have the best impression of Liev Schreiber seeing that he was Sabretooth in that awful film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. What you may not have known however is that for the last six years, he’s been playing the lead in an amazing TV show called Ray Donovan. In the series, he plays a fixer for powerful Los Angeles celebrities. Whenever there’s a “problem” that needs fixing like a nosy photographer or a story getting leaked, Donovan is there get the job done by any means necessary. Throughout the show, we also see him struggling with the sins and sorrows of his past with his deadbeat dad returning and his complicated family life. He’s just one giant ball of rage and pain. This is exactly the kind of pathos Schreiber could bring to the character of Wolverine if Marvel decides to take a chance with him.
He certainly looks the part with his rugged stubble, growing sideburns and a weathered face that screams “I’ve been dealing children for far too long”. Origins didn’t really give Schreiber a fair chance to flex his full acting capabilities but now it seems he’s really come into his own. Not to mention he certainly has the voice for characters like Wolverine. He did play Wilson Fisk in Into the Spiderverse. If the MCU is shooting for an older, more experienced Logan then I think Schreiber would make for a great candidate. He has the look, the voice and the physique to play the part. I could definitely picture him playing a mentor to a bunch of teenage mutant kids running around the X-Mansion. It’s just such a shame that the chances of Schreiber ever returning to the world of comic-book films is highly unlikely, let alone the MCU. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?
3. Christian Bale
Bale might never take the cape and cowl as Batman again but maybe he’ll be open donning a new pair of claws? Christian Bale is what one might call a method actor. The man will shed all semblance of self in the name of inhabiting the characters in his films. In The Machinist, Bale lost a ton of weight to play a bony insomniac. In American Hustle, Bale gained a ton to play a charming, dangerous con artist. His most notable transformation though was when he beefed up for his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. The man was jacked from head to toe, meeting every physical demand needed of him to truly become the Dark Knight! Needless to say, Christian Bale is a man who goes all in, sometimes to frightening degrees. Anyone who has seen his meltdown on the set of Terminator: Salvation will know what I’m talking about.
The man is no diva though. He will give his 100% for a part if he truly believes in it. I mean the guy ate real-life maggots in Rescue Dawn like it was nothing! No offence to Evans or Hemsworth but there are just far too many pretty boys on set. If we’re gonna have a Wolverine, it needs to be somebody who can portray rugged, damaged and intimidating. Logan is someone who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. A tortured soul looking to find either a peaceful home or an early grave. Bale we feel could really nail that side of the character. Perhaps a bit of coaching on how to inject some levity into a scene but overall Bale is a solid choice!
4. Keanu Reeves
It’s only a matter of time at this point for Keanu Reeves to enter into the MCU, the only question is: Who is he going to play? Well, may we be so bold to suggest that he take up the part of Wolverine? In the past, Reeves has been seen as mellow and unemotive but with his most recent cinematic action outing with John Wick 3, it’s clear to see that Reeves is no joke. Reeves underwent extensive training and exercise to become the world’s most deadly assassin. This year alone, he has single-handedly raised the bar for what Hollywood action stars should strive to be. There’s a level commitment and rawness to his physical delivery that puts him on par with greats like Tom Cruise.
As for performances outside fight scenes, Reeves has shown that he has range. Albeit the level of volume and intensity might need some work. Hey, we’re not gonna say that he’s perfect but we’d be lying if we didn’t say that the man has great potential. He might have to pay a visit to Hugh Jackman’s School of YELLING THINGS! Given the right direction and the proper material, Reeves could truly rise to the occasion.
We already saw shades of a Logan-to-come in John Wick 3 with the ferocity he brings to the character on screen. Wolverine’s fighting style carries a certain weight and tiredness about it, not unlike Wick going through the endless line assassins coming for him. Oh and most importantly, Reeves has major cool factor so even when he’s not slaying on screen, we’ll be sure to get some pretty memorable lines from him. “Woah…I’m a mutant”. Sorry, had to have at least one Matrix reference in here.
5. Tom Hardy
Don’t let his charming British accent and dashing good looks fool you, Tom Hardy is one crazy son of a bitch. I love the actor to death but there are moments in his films that have scared the living daylights out of me. Don’t believe me? Take a look at his performance in 2008’s Bronson when he forces a prison guard to rub butter around his NAKED body before beating the crap out of some guards. In 2011’s Warrior, Hardy played a terrifying professional fighter with PTSD and trauma.
Then, we have 2015’s Legend in which he plays twins with one of them being a violent, paranoid, schizophrenic gangster who will randomly break out into a fight if he’s bored of his gourd. So do we think Hardy can play an ex-government experiment with PTSD and a pension for slicing up baddies who get his way? The answer is hell yes! When Wolverine goes into full beast mode, nothing can withstand his warpath as he taps into his primal side.
That being said, he can’t just be bloody bonkers all the time, the actor playing Logan should be capable of showing a more human and empathetic side to the character. Thankfully, Hardy is the full package here. In films like Locke, we see the depth of his emotional well as he confronts the painful personal secrets of his past and the many calamities that compound his life. By the way, the whole film is shot with Hardy alone in the car as he deals with these issues over the phone. It is easily one of his best performances yet. As for his physique, the man can also beef up for physically demanding roles like his time as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. All he needs now is the right and some sideburns.