It was mid July and the year was 2000. I stepped up to the smudged teller window and stuttered out my words with fervor. “Two tickets for X-Men please.”
Bursting from the seams, I hurried through the snack line and isolated the optimal seating arrangement. I was giddy with anticipation to say the least. By that point I had watched every episode of “X-Men: The Animated Series” and creased the seams of countless X-Men comics. What stories would be told? What characters would we meet? My dad on the other hand had no idea who the X-Men even were, but I think he appreciated the film it in his own way. Besides, he was my ride. The theater lights dimmed and the chatter became silence as the audience began an odyssey that would in many ways redefine the template for super-hero movies.
There have been whispers. Whispers that Hugh Jackman may not keep the role of Canada’s adamantium clawed man of rage post “Wolverine 3,” Something that Jackman himself is well aware of. Hugh was just 31 years old and relatively unknown when Bryan Singer’s 1st “X-men” film hit theaters in 2000. That means Jackman has carried the mantle of the short-tempered and slow to age razor clawed bezerker for 14 years. This poses a problem for the practically ageless character of Wolverine. They can probably make one more Wolverine movie that revolves around a future timeline, but beyond that it looks rather grim for the current film iteration of Wolvie.
That being said, this may be an opportunity for the X-Men franchise to reboot the fight first care later character with someone more youthful and true to the comic book. Don’t get me wrong, aside from Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, Jackman’s Wolverine has been a staple for the X-Men franchise, not to mention a fan favorite. On the other hand, as a long-time comic aficionado, I have always had a few issues with Jackman’s rendition of the timeless character.
He is no Colossus.
Wolverine is of a modest stature, vertically challenged if you will. But what he lacks in height he makes up for in rabid rage and general thoughtless aggression. Jackman appears to be one of the tallest cast members. Which is bizarre because the dynamic of Wolverine and Cyclops never really sat right with me. They had the tension, but Jackman towered over James Marsden and had a stronger more focused persona which should really belong to Marsden’s character. I won’t even get started on how terrible Marsden’s version of Cyclops is.
Hey Bub, he’s no funny man.
Wolverine is NOT a comedic character. Deadpool is comedic. Spider-Man is comedic. Wolverine is a killing machine. So the tongue and cheek dialogue and comedic asides are jarringly out of character, and in my opinion, need to go. I want to see the Wolverine from the comic books. A raw and unrefined loner with a propensity for uncontrollably aggressive behavior and out right violent acts.
Here are Five actors that I think would fit the “Snikt” heavy character.
5. James Dornan
The co-star of the upcoming “50 Shades of Grey” is relatively new to world of American entertainment having starred in his first film, “Marie Antoinette,” in 2006. The Irish actor, model, and musician is 32 and measures in at 6 feet tall. Although, in my opinion, a bit too tall to play our beloved berserker, Dornan has the right look. On-top of that, he is just obscure enough to be able to breathe life into the character without any preconceived dislike on behalf of the Marvel fan-base. Given his prior work as a model, he has the right physique to play a super-hero. With the buzz surrounding the soon to be released 50 shades movie, I think we will see Dornan quickly become a go-to in Hollywood when looking for leading men.
4. Colin Farrell
Keeping thigs Irish, Colin Farrell would be a definite possibility. Although the Ben Affleck led “Daredevil” movie was a flop, Farrell’s Bullseye hit the mark as far as demeanor and attitude. We also know that Farrell is no stranger to the action film and given his more classical roots, he would be able to deliver a wide range of emotions. For example, from angry to extremely angry.
3. Zachary Quinto
He can do evil. He can do Hero. He can do Odd. Quinto, although probably too tall, is in every other way ideal for the role of wolverine. Although he has dabbled in the action arena with “Heros” Sylar and as Spock in the “Star Trek” franchise, Quinto has yet to take on the role of a leading man and truly test his movie muscle. If he could take the emotionless persona of Spock and mix it with the dark demeanor of Sylar, I think, it would be the makings of an epic wolverine.
2. Liam Hemsworth
The Australian actor is brother to the son of Odin. No, I’m not talking about Loki. I am talking about Liam Hemsworth, the brother of “Thor” actor, Chris Hemsworth. He already flexed his action chops in “The Expendables 2” as Billy the Kid and coupled with the mega hit “Hunger Games” franchise, Hemsworth is at the tip of every casting directors tongue. It would not be unfathomable to see the younger Hemsworth pitted against his older brother in an opposing Marvel franchise. A little sibling rivalry never hurt anybody… unless you a member of the clan Hemsworth.
1. Jai Courtney
Courtney kicks some serious ass alongside Tom Cruise in “Jack Reacher” and Bruce Willis in “A Good Day to Die Hard.” That means Courtney can hang with the big boys of action and is ready to take on an action film that he can call his own. I’m not the only one who thinks so as he has been cast to play the character of Kyle Reese, John Connor’s posthumous pappy, battling bots alongside Arnold in the upcoming “Terminator: Genisys.” This Australian actor is my top pick to don the claws of rage.
A few actors who are critically well received but should, by no means, claim the claws and cowl:
1. Taylor Lautner
So what if he is a long time martial artist and was ranked as the 4th Most Amazing Body in 2010 by People magazine? He is nothing more than an over-hyped sparkly Werewolf and “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” guest voice actor to me. After being attached to the female centric teen franchise that is “Twilight,” he will have to come on screen wielding assault rifles and biting heads off of snakes to change my perception. If he were to ever put on the claws, it would drain the life out of Wolverine quicker than Magneto can say savage lands.
2. Daniel Radcliffe
The young English actor made famous by “Harry Potter,” the very reason I would never peg him as a true super-hero type. He is far too neurotic to be the brazen bezerker, unless the next installment in the Wolverine franchise is directed by Woody Allen. Although it looks entertaining, I doubt “Horns” will have enough punch to solely pummel his typecast persona.