The Hollywood Rumour Machine has spit out an especially intriguing whopper in recent weeks: Taron Egerton, a current awards contender for his acclaimed portrayal of Elton John in Rocketman, could be in line to take over the mantle of Wolverine — should the fiery X-Man be revived in an upcoming phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We asked Egerton, who has previously said he's "slightly baffled" how the rumour started, where he thinks the speculation stemmed from.
"It's unfounded," Egerton told us. "The only morsel of truth to it is that I'm a huge fan of the films, like 99.9 percent of the rest of the world. That's kind of it, really. … I don't quite know where it comes from. I'm flattered but baffled by it."
Let's assume, for a second, that Egerton was actually secretly in talks with Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios as they look to replace longtime claw-bearer Hugh Jackman now that Marvel is back in control of the X-Men properties following the Disney-Fox merger.
Read more: Hugh Jackman was nearly fired as Wolverine
A denial like the above would hardly be unprecedented. But it's what Egerton says next that is eyebrow-raising:
"There's other characters that I think I'd be more suited to."
Would an actor in consideration — or even negotiations — for one of Marvel's most prominent superheroes say there are other characters he'd be better for? Probably not, unless that's some A-grade misdirecting, something Feige and company have admittedly made an art form.
Of course, the 29-year-old Welsh actor is wisely leaving the window open.
"If there's one you want to play, it's probably that one. I just love the wildness of Logan but I don't know."
And who knows, the rumours — if they're just rumours — and fan support they've generated could make Egerton a serious contender for the part.
It can't hurt that he's friends with Jackman, the man who legit holds a Guinness World Record for "longest career as a live-action Marvel superhero" after playing him in 11 movies over the course of 17 years. Egerton and Jackman co-starred in the 2016 Olympic skiing drama Eddie the Eagle.
"I am buddies with Wolverine, yeah," Egerton said.
Hey, Egerton could always list Jackman as a referral.
Watch Egerton talk about playing Elton John in Rocketman: