After many years of playing Wolverine, Hugh Jackman had his final go at the role in this year’s addition to the X-Men franchise. And apparently, we have Jerry Seinfeld to blame for that.
Probably the most famous of the X-Men characters, Wolverine is a mutant with the power of healing from any injury. Not only does he use that to get really, really violent in battle, he has also been modified by the Canadian government to have an incredibly strong metal called adamantium cover his bones, with sharp blades able to emerge from the backs of his hands.
Jackman began playing the Canucklehead (real name Logan, surname unknown) in 2000’s X-Men, and appeared in nine films over the next seventeen years, almost always as the star. (Some would argue that he kind of stole the spotlight, but that’s kind of Wolverine’s thing in the comics, too.) Though only 49, Jackman’s increasing age during this time was theoretically a problem, since Wolverine himself ages slower than normal people. Nevertheless this was made a plot point during this year’s Logan, which depicted the hero older and ultimately focused on his legacy, in this case by caring for his clone “daughter,” X-23/Laura.
In an interview with Variety, Jackman discussed why he decided to make Logan his last Wolverine role. Jackman says that he was talking to Jerry Seinfeld, who is a friend of his, and asked why the famed comedian decided to end his acclaimed sitcom Seinfeld. He advised Jackman to “leave the party before it gets too late” and to allow his creative energy to lead him to new projects.
This is not the first time that Jackman has discussed this; in an earlier interview he said, “He said he’d always had this feeling and belief that you never know when either your energy or the audience’s energy is going to dip over into people [saying] ‘Oh, please go.'”
Jackman made this decision before the deal where Fox properties, including the X-Men films, were acquired by Disney; their future is uncertain, but he says that he looks forward to seeing a new Wolverine hanging out with the Avengers. Being a talented singer, he has also joked about returning to the role if they ever make an X-Men musical.