Jake Gyllenhaal has been attached to many superhero projects over the years. He came close to landing the title role in Batman Begins, while he nearly replaced Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2. More recently, he has kept his focus on smaller films, but he has proven himself to be one of the best actors working right now. He is currently a rumored top contender to replace Ben Affleck in The Batman.
While most other big superheroes have been played by multiple actors, only one man has played Wolverine. Hugh Jackman gave his all to the character for 17 years, and he retired from the role in last year’s Logan. However, fans have wondered how long Fox would let the character rest. Sure enough, with Disney’s acquisition underway and the X-Men joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is interest in recasting the character.
As difficult as it may be to replace Jackman, Wolverine is going to come back to the big screen sooner or later. And, like every superhero before him, there will be a new actor playing him. Below, we list five actors that we hope are considered for the role. (Sorry, but Tom Hardy isn’t on the list.)
The son of legendary filmmaker Clint Eastwood, Scott has been building a notable filmography, appearing in blockbusters such as Suicide Squad and The Fate of the Furious. He has emerged as one of the fan favorites to play Wolverine, and he himself expressed interest in the idea. So, why not at least consider him for the role?
Eastwood has shown decent acting skills and a physicality that’d suit Wolverine. His interest in the character is only a good thing, and at 31, he’s at a good age for any long-term plans. Additionally, it’s only inevitable for him to land a key comic book movie role sooner or later (his Suicide Squad character was pointless), so Wolverine would be a good one.
If Gyllenhaal does play Wolverine, he would bring an insane amount of talent, physicality, and prestige to the role. He can really immerse himself into it, as seen in other roles. And at 36, he’s at a decent age for a slightly younger Wolverine. The only concern would be whether Gyllenhaal would commit to a multi-picture deal. But if he’s down with that, then go for it.
Manu Bennett is best known for playing Slade Wilson/Deathstroke on DC’s Arrow. In addition to that, he has appeared in many other television shows and movies, most notably The Hobbit trilogy. At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising if he lands a big role in a comic book movie. Enter the Wolverine.
Bennett would be such a perfect fit as Wolverine. He has the physical and dramatic acting chops; just watch him on Arrow and see the type of presence he has. That’s what Wolverine needs. However, Bennett is currently 48, and he’ll likely be past 50 by the time they bring Wolverine back. I’m not sure if Bennett would be down with playing the character into his 60s or whatever, and Marvel may want to get a younger actor. But otherwise, Bennett would be phenomenal.
Garrett Hedlund may be a more unconventional choice, but don’t drop out on us yet. Hedlund has had some blockbuster experience, appearing in movies like Tron: Legacy and Pan. But for the most part, he focuses on smaller movies, and he has yet to join the superhero genre. Well, why not consider him for Wolverine?
Hedlund is a good actor, and he can pull off both the dramatic and physical components of Wolverine. He’s one of our younger options at 33, and he seems to have an open schedule. Plus, he’s been part of the Disney family before with Tron. If Hedlund is interested in playing a big superhero spanning across multiple films, then Wolverine would be great.
Our final suggestion is Adam Driver, who recently made his big break with playing Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Driver’s performance as the character has been phenomenal so far. Kylo is a deeply layered and complex villain, making for one of the most engaging movie characters in recent memory. Imagine if Driver could bring something similar to Wolverine.
Driver is a fantastic actor who gives his all to his roles. He also has the physical presence needed for Wolverine. (Just look at *that* scene in The Last Jedi.) He has plenty of blockbuster experience, he’s at a great age (34), and he’s in the Disney family. It’s unknown if he will continue playing Kylo Ren after Episode IX, but if he doesn’t and he seeks a new blockbuster role, then Wolverine would be perfect.
Honorable Mentions: Gerard Butler, Richard Armitage, Toby Kebbell, Ray Stevenson, Anson Mount
Who do you want to see play the new Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?