How Jerry Seinfeld convinced Hugh Jackman to give up playing Wolverine

Ben Skipper
Contributor

Since Hugh Jackman first teased he was to hang up Wolverine’s adamantium claws for good and step away from the role he first played 17 years ago, many naturally wondered what drove him to making the decision.

With Jackman’s final outing as the famed X-Man approaching in March’s ‘Logan’, Jackman has revealed it was comedian Jerry Seinfeld who drove the decision, after talking to him about leaving his hit US sitcom Seinfeld on a creative high.

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“He doesn’t particularly like parties, and I’m a little the same,” Jackman told Empire Magazine in this month’s (issue 333) cover feature. “So we always end up in a corner chatting.

“I started asking about ‘Seinfeld’. Jerry said: ‘I always had a belief that creatively you should leave on a high.’ Not just for legacy, though I’m sure that was part of it. But he said that if you are tapped out, it’s Herculean to work out what the next thing is.

“If you leave something in the tank creatively, then you just spark onto the next thing. I went home from that dinner, and I just knew. That was it.”

Next, Jackman pitched the idea of a final Wolverine film to 20th Century Fox, proposing something diffrent which he pitched as being somewhere between ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘The Wrestler’. “I was expecting a little more resistance, I suppose, at the studio level,” Jackman said. “But I didn’t get that at all.”

Jackman and director James Mangold (who directed Jackman’s last solo outing ‘The Wolverine’) also wanted the film to be R-Rated, allowing a true depiction of the character’s violent, feral side. Fox also granted them this, with further support of the idea following after the enormous success of ‘Deadpool’ last year, which was also R-Rated.

Jerry Seinfeld and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in ‘Logan’ (Credits: CBS / 20th Century Fox)

The story takes place in a near future in which mutants are dying out and Wolverine’s powers are fading. He’s looking after an aging Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) when circumstances leave the pair on the road with a young girl called Laura Kinney – a clone of Jackman’s character – who has been left in their protection.

“It’s a darker version of ‘Little Miss Sunshine, with the three of us on the road” jokes Jackman. “Slightly more violent.”

Not a great deal was expected from the film until its first trailer dropped last year. The wholly positive response instantly garnered ‘Logan’ a lot of hype, and the second trailer, released recently, was just as well-received.

‘Logan’ is set for release on 2 March in the UK.