When "X-Men" director Bryan Singer announced earlier this week that series vets Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen would be return the X-fold for the upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past," it seemed like only a matter of time before Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman's name would be thrown back into the mix.
Unsurprisingly, the Hollywood Reporter chimed on Wednesday with news that Jackman is indeed in talks to join the time-travelling "X-Men: First Class" sequel, a film that would unite mutants from the Singer X-era and the more recent 1960s-set Matthew Vaughn film. If Jackman does sign on, it would be the sixth time that the Australian actor has played the role of Canadian mutant Logan. Jackman played Wolverine in the first three "X-Men" movies and the solo spin off "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Wolverine also had a small but memorable cameo in "First Class" and will don the character's trademark adamantium claws next year in another solo outing, "The Wolverine." Since the Wolverine character is key to the "Days of Future Past" comic book storyline that the movie is based on, many fans suspected that Jackman's casting would quickly follow the recent Stewart/McKellen news.
But while most people know Jackman's name because of his many turns as Wolverine. what those same folks might not realize is that the mutated Canuck brawler is about as far from most of Jackman's other roles as could be. Like many actors, Jackman got his start in theatre (getting his international big break thanks to the lead in the London-staged "Oklahoma!"), but unlike many Hollywood stars, he has remained incredibly active on both stage and screen. After hitting it big with "X-Men," Jackman worked steadily in the movies, but he made a point to keep working on stage when he wasn't doing a film.
See a pre-fame Jackman singing in "Oklahoma!" below
Between 2002 and 2011, Jackman starred in numerous stage productions, including "The Boy from Oz" (for which he won a Tony Award, Broadway's biggest prize), "A Steady Rain" (opposite big screen 007 Daniel Craig), and in his touring one man show "Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway." During that time, Jackman also hosted the Tony Awards three times, winning an Emmy for his stellar hosting duties in 2004. Earlier this year, the Tonys awarded Jackman a special honourary award for his outstanding contributions to the theatre community.
Quite appropriately, Jackman will next be seen in "Les Misérables" before heading back to the mutant universe that made him famous. Director Tom Hooper's all-star adaptation of the musical of the same name features Jackman as hero Jean Valjean and fellow Australian Russell Crowe as the villainous Inspector Javert. Given Jackman's aforementioned penchant for musical theatre, it seems surprising that it's taken him so long to star in a big screen musical. Sure, Valjean doesn't have ten-inch claws or a mutant healing factor, but man, can he sing! Something tells us that Jackman is OK with the very musical change of pace.
"Les Misérables" hits theatres on December 25 and "The Wolverine" is set for release on July 26, 2013.