Wolverine & Ninjas

5 Actors to Replace Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

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Wolverine & Ninjas
The internet has been abuzz regarding the future of Wolverine since Hugh Jackman’s 2015 announcement that he would be retiring from the part. As any geek in geekdom knows, The Wolverine is a fan favorite. Grisly, grizzled, and gruff, Logan is so beloved that even killing him off in the comic books led to a fan favorite in the Old Man Logan series. With a character this popular, Marvel will have to be re-energizing the property. With this in mind, a Google search brings up tons of suggestions.

All of these suggestions come with the caveat that Mr. Jackman’s successor will be another white male in the traditional Logan model. Sitting watching the new Logan trailers, however, open an entirely different option.

In November 2015, Marvel launched its successful All-New Wolverine title making X-23, aka Laura Kinney, the official Wolverine. Despite some huffing and puffing from old school naysayers, the book’s popularity has kept readers happy. Combining the All-New Wolverine book with the integration of Laura Kinney in Logan, critics and fans are ignoring the possibility that the next Wolverine movie may not need to be a man.

With that in mind, here are five actors that could replace Mr. Jackman and do the role credit.

Saoirse Ronan

Image: Open Road Studios

On fans’ shortlist to play Captain Marvel, Saoirse Ronan would make a great addition to the MCU. Laura Kinney’s emotional background would be an excellent fit for Ms. Ronan after her Academy-Award nominated role in Brooklyn. However, Ms. Ronan’s work on the psychological thriller Stockholm, Pennsylvania in conjunction with her comedic role in The Grand Budapest Hotel give her the ability to play the darker, sardonic side of X-23.

Nadia Bjorlin

Image: Nadia Bjorlin

Although the comics present X-23 as mid-20s, Ms. Bjorlin has previously expressed interest in taking on the role of Wonder Woman. Although Laura is a far cry from dear Diana, the two share a tenacious spirit and desire for truth. Considering that to a certain extent superheroes are soap opera characters with special powers, the fact that Ms. Bjorlin played the fan-favorite Chloe on Days of Our Lives gives her excellent background in understanding the pulp fiction aspect of X-23.

Yanin “Jeeja” Vismitananda

Image: Yanin “Jeeja” Vismitananda

Searching outside of the traditional areas, Jeeja Vismitananda manages to check off every box necessary for portraying Laura Kinney. Hailed as one of the best female martial arts actresses, she brings the necessary physicality that comes with being a Wolverine. X-23’s powers are less of the distance fighting and more of the up close and personal claw scraping. Therefore, this is the perfect opportunity to bring in a martial arts actress who can portray a take-no-prisoners attitude.

Morena Baccarin

Image: FOX Studios

Well versed in genre roles, Ms. Baccarin is possibly most easily recognized for her role as Inara on the beloved-but-short-lived Firefly. However, she also played Vanessa in Deadpool and is currently portraying Leslie Thompkins on Gotham. As Inara, she proved her ability as a quietly dangerous heroine. Meanwhile, her mixture of vulnerability and steely spine on Gotham shows how she can go into the darkness needed to give Laura her depth.

Freema Agyeman

Image: BBC America

Most geeks will remember Ms. Agyeman as The Doctor’s companion Martha. Despite what people may think about poor Martha, she was a character that evolved over her tenure on the show and even more so in later Torchwood episodes. Ms. Agyeman’s portrayal of Martha as torn between responsibility and desire means that she has experience working with the kind of multifaceted character X-23 represents. Add into this her later portrayals of Martha guns blazing and coming to The Doctor’s aid, she is also capable of giving viewers the action packed sequences that Laura Kinney fans want.

With Marvel’s attention to women and diversity in the comic books, the MCU incorporating Laura Kinney as the next incarnation of Wolverine would be a nice level of forward thinking representation.

Who would you choose as X-23?

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11 thoughts on “5 Actors to Replace Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

      1. I don’t disagree, I was just pointing out to the purposefully (?) misleading title. Also, isn’t Logan already setting up Dafne Keen as X-23. Wouldn’t Fox be keen on keeping the same actress in subsequent movies?

        1. Why does a word need to be gendered at all? Would it have been more appropriate to say “female actors” or “male actresses”? It’s the same meaning….

          And yes, it was purposeful because to assume the genderizing of the word continues to assume that there is a right or wrong approach, not a misleading title. I referred to them as actors throughout.

          They are setting up Keen for Logan, but she’s also 12. So I’m wondering if they moved it forward would they want a child throughout as Wolverine or make it an adult?

          1. So, we could talk about female father, male woman, female bull, female husband, male aunt, male hen…

            The thing is that, regardless of your efforts, some words have two versions, male and female. Actor and actress are some of such words.

            I find it absurd to simplify and stupidify language to such extent as to need to use two words, “female actor”, in place of a perfectly valid single word.

  1. Interestingly, the original Old Man Logan mini series was published prior to the 616 character’s death. They revived it during Secret Wars due to the popularity of the character and the death of “Logan Prime.” That said, I’m enjoying the heck out of Laura’s turn in the yellow and blue.

    1. Yeah, but the now it’s also an ongoing which, when it came out, was also timed with the backlash to All-New Wolverine and I do feel (as do some of my other female X-23 fans) that it was directly related. Part of the uproar about the death of “Logan Prime” was that people knew that Laura was taking up the mantle and, iirc, at the time a lot of naysaying folk were pretty peeved. I, personally (and along with several others that I’ve discussed this with over the last few years) feel that the return of the ongoing was motivated in large part as a response to the female Wolverine title. Hence, the cause and effect in the article.

  2. You are so lucky. I thought you were going down the path of replacing Hugh Jackman directly, and no-one messes with Hugh. It would bring out the ultimate Australian Geek Army, away from their cricket and pies and … what other horrible stereotypes can I throw in there?

    But seriously, love the options you have for X-23. Particularly Yanin. It would make for a great transition in the films. Pity Portman has no interest in every coming back – I think she could work as (Lady) Thor, with the right script and director (Taika Waititi would be awesome).

  3. Morena Baccarin is my choice (more because I think she’s a wonderful actress, I don’t know the others as well). As “Anna” in the 2009 “V” reboot, she has proven her capability with a dark-side.

  4. Laura is a teenager as Wolverine in the comics, so I imagine they would be angling to keep Dafne Keen, if she impresses in the role in Logan. Either way, this is probably the best way to keep the character’s legacy going, rather than trying to recast an iconic role.

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