Hugh Jackman insists that it started as an innocent enough day. Getting on Instagram to engage with fans, and maybe revisit some fond trips down memory lane, he reposted a few images: a fan art design of Wolverine’s claws here, and a meeting with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige there. Then, walking away to go live his life, he was completely unaware the internet was abuzz with speculation and gossip.
This is how it played out last month when Jackman shared a Boss Logic fan image of the Wolverine claws he wore in nine X-Men movies and then an image taken of himself chatting with Feige back in 2013 when they were hanging out in a talent lounge at San Diego Comic-Con. Innocuous stuff, right? Well, according to more than one publication, from comic book sites to major print magazines, it was all a clever wink and nod that Jackman was planning to reprise his signature role of Logan, aka the Wolverine, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course Jackman emphatically killed Logan off in Logan, a rather final and elegiac film which we would argue is one of the best superhero movies ever made. Yet Marvel just introduced the multiverse in Loki, right? So maybe he does want to play the role again right?!
When we bring up the social media posts during a conversation about Jackman’s new sci-fi noir movie, Reminiscence, a sheepish grin spreads across the Oscar nominee’s face and he lowers his head in bemusement at how even a fleeting Instagram Story can come back to haunt him.
“I’m going to tell you that you guys, you comic book fans, are too quick for me,” Jackman says. “That was a very innocent repost of some cool art, and I do it quite a bit. And I think I was with my family or had people over or something, and was away from my phone and when I came back, I was like, ‘What have I done!? I didn’t mean to do that!’”
He continues, “That was just fan art, I’m really sorry guys. And I was like the horse has bolted, I don’t think anything I say now will be able to calm this down. But it was just you guys are too quick for me.”
Jackman’s amazement at fan culture is understandable. After all, it helped catapult the Australian performer to superstardom in a role that obviously meant a lot to him. But his desire to move on is also understandable. After 17 years and nearly 10 films, he said farewell to his mutant alter-ego in a fairly perfect swan song, and has since seen more success in different arenas, such as the pop culture musical phenomenon, The Greatest Showman, and the highly underrated dark comedy, Bad Education. And later this fall, he returns to Broadway where he’s already won a Tony to star as the legendary Prof. Harold Hill in The Music Man.
In the meantime, Jackman can next be seen as the wounded antihero of Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence, which we will have more about, including from our conversation with Jackman, next week.