** SPOILERS ** Best to just see Logan already.
While James Mangold and Marvel were keen distracting everyone on a potential Deadpool post-credit scene/crossover title for the March premiere of Logan, the filmmaker and studio were busy developing a movie that contained a major plot twist. Withheld for over an hour into the blockbuster, it would be revealed that one of the central antagonists and ultimate destroyer of Wolverine would end up being.... himself! Well, sort of.
The X-24 clone would be portrayed by Hugh Jackman again. And, rather than it being for an extra paycheck, the weapon on legs would prove to the be the berserker rage machine that fans were crying out to see. This was a major motivation for the actor, of course. But he admitted to Collider this week that his introduction and role in the movie was not something he supported during production.
Hugh: James Banked On Trust, I Was A Pain In The Ass
Going in depth about a passion project that became a mission for Jackman, he struggled to see how Mangold would pull off the surprise.
“I was very skeptical of having X-24 being played by me," the Australian recalled. "I understood what it represented and thematically the idea of battling himself, which of course is right at the core of this character that we never fully got to, so I kind of loved the externalization of that. But I also know that myself as an actor and fans of Wolverine come up to me in the street every day and go, ‘We wanna see that full berserker animalistic crazy off-the-wall Wolverine,’ right? That we don’t feel we’ve fully seen it, so I was like, ‘Jim (James Mangold director) if we introduced halfway or near the end of the movie that full berserker animalistic crazy Wolverine and he’s somehow fighting our hero, audiences won’t know what to feel.’ And I remember him saying, ‘Trust me, trust me, trust me.’ And I was a bit of a pain in the ass on that one, I was like, ‘I’m just not sure. Let’s keep exploring it and exploring it.’"
HJ: It Is Amazing That Reveal Was Kept Spoiler Free
Giving full props to his director for backing his own vision, Jackman remarked that the murder of Charles Xavier put his evil clone in a different category and worked for the betterment of the story.
"When I saw the movie it’s just clear, for some reason I think because he skewers Patrick Stewart in that moment the audience just sort of hates him. We did some subtle things, I changed the bridge of my nose, I wore contacts—I just wanted him to look a little different from myself. And I think by that point we’d created already the Wolverine that people wanted to see. So anyway, that was one of my examples of being wrong (laughs).”
Despite turning up for weeks on end as his younger, fitter X-24 self, Jackman did reflect on how lucky he was to have that twist kept under lock and key as Logan was shooting. With DC features and other Hollywood installments teasing fans for plot spoilers either intentionally or otherwise, this was an achievement in 2017.
“Yeah actually now that I think about it, I mean there’s a lot of secrecy around these things and everyone tries to protect it, but it’s kind of actually amazing. I suppose that when we were shooting it, I was shooting both parts so I played both, so if I turn up on set everyone just knows I’m playing that. That’s a good point, I’ve gotta give props to the crew and the cast, no one spilled the beans. I hadn’t thought about it until just now. But it’s fun being in screenings and watching people gasp. They do not see it coming.”