Few Hollywood sights can compare with the one we were ‘treated’ to on the set of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Arriving on location in Montreal, we glanced absent-mindedly down towards the myriad trailers housing the mutant epic’s many A-list talents. And there he was – Hugh Jackman, outside his Winnebago, lying on a sunlounger. Nothing particularly unusual about that, of course. Except for the fact he was in full Wolverine hair and make-up – all enormous barnet and mega-bushy sideburns, razor-sharp claws protruding from his knuckles – but wearing just an alarmingly small pair of black Y-fronts. “Just soaking up some rays, mate,” he would tell us cheerily later, when reminded of this curious image.
That was his seventh time in the role, and 14 years after he pinched it off Dougray Scott (who was originally offered the part but had to pull out when shooting on Mission: Impossible 2 overran). And now, with Logan, he’s about to hang up his claws for a ninth and final time.
“The goal for this Wolverine movie was to make something human,” says its director, James Mangold. “To scale back on the gloss and greenscreen.”
Promising what superhero fans have so long clamoured for – a properly brutal, R-rated take on the tortured character – Jackman’s swansong is rumoured to be based on one of the comic books’ most iconic storylines, Old Man Logan. Certainly, the imagery so far supports the theory, with the previously un-aging, constantly healing hero now older, battleworn and covered in deep, gruesome scars.
“It’s essential you see this as the story of a man who is struggling with mortality and legacy,” the 48 year-old Jackman says. “And whether the world has been better off with him or without him...”
Logan is released on March 2.