Back in 1999 when everyone was fearful that Y2K would destroy the planet and Mambo No.5 from Lou Bega was topping the music charts, a brash young Australian named Hugh Jackman was auditioning to play the part of Wolverine. Eventually landing the gig for 2000's X-Men.
Unbeknown to him and the rest of the world, this role from the local Sydney-sider would be a life changer for him and that of the 20th Century Fox and Marvel franchise.
The released footage in the wake of Logan's premiere showcases an actor getting to terms with the mannerisms of a character layered in dark complexity. Performing a table read with director Bryan Singer, it would be 17 years later that he would finally come to peace with the comic book superhero.
The Final Show Tripled The Stakes
Sitting down with IGN, Jackman argued that his choice to close the chapter on James Howlett immediately amped up the pressure on the movie. Knowing that there was no safety net or second chances.
"I couldn't have made this movie with Jim (James Mangold director) unless I'd come to peace with the fact that this was the last one," he remarked. "When I say peace, it was peaceful in the end - the decision was clear but the moment I'd made that, the stakes on this movie just tripled. I said to Jim: 'we have to look each other in the eye and if I can't honestly say that's the definitive movie about that character, then I've failed. So I'm not going to say yes until we've got to that point and Jim was great. He came on board and said great... He exceeded all my expectations, I'm so proud of it. So I am kind of at peace with it now. But I'll tell you it was nerve-racking and I was a pain in the ass to a lot of people. I really was, way more than I've been before."
Two Centuries Alive Is Enough To Tire Anyone
While the death of Wolverine was a monumental conclusion to the life and times of the X-Men icon, director James Mangold explained that the passing was less a tragedy and more a moment that had to come.
"I think it's an idea so obvious, everyone is walking into the theater expecting it," said the filmmaker. "But to me the idea wasn't just to kill Logan. The idea was to end the character's line in some way that was really powerful for the audience. Honestly when you're dealing with a character whose been alive for 200 plus years, you're also dealing with a character whose tired, where this ending isn't necessarily tragic but maybe a rest that he deserves."