Zac Efron Reacts to Rumored Casting as Marvel's Next Wolverine – CBR – Comic Book Resources

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While Hugh Jackman is returning as Wolverine, actor Zac Efron addresses persistent rumors claiming that he’ll play the MCU’s version of the X-Man.
While Hugh Jackman's upcoming return as Wolverine in Deadpool 3 has thrown Marvel Cinematic Universe speculation into a whirlwind, rumors casting his replacement still persist — notably one centering on former teen heartthrob Zac Efron.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Efron was asked about possibly being cast as the MCU's new version of Wolverine, which would have him replace Jackman. The subject seemed rather touchy since he knows Jackman from having co-starred with him in the 2017 P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman. Nevertheless, Efron offered an answer that doesn't discount the prospective role. "I think Hugh's still doing that pretty well, I got to give it to Hugh," he said. "I guess I had my foot in the door on that one, I should go talk to him." The actor even jested that he'd grow a beard like the one Fallon is currently sporting, to which the host offered to shave it off and "give" it to Efron.
Related: X-Men Legends Solved a Nearly 50-Year-Old Wolverine Costume Mystery
Efron, who's currently promoting his co-starring role in the fact-based film The Greatest Beer Run Ever opposite the MCU's Zeus, Russell Crowe, has successfully carved out a film career. Indeed, Efron's CV has made monumental leaps from his adolescent exploits as part of the High School Musical movie franchise ensemble. For example, he shocked his longtime fans with a chilling performance as the real-life serial killer Ted Bundy in the 2019 film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Thus, playing the role of Marvel's tortured, rapidly healing, Adamantium-imbued mutant would represent a natural arc for the actor. However, there's just one problem: Jackman is coming back.
Notwithstanding the veracity of the Efron/Wolverine rumors, the matter of the role's succession was recently dealt a twist. This state is the result of the surprise announcement made by star Ryan Reynolds that the long-gestating Deadpool 3 is not only finally getting off the ground but will see Hugh Jackman reprise his Wolverine role. That development arguably stultifies director James Mangold's 2017 film Logan, which was heavily promoted as Jackman's final appearance as the character, and even included a heartbreaking death scene. Yet, the news was meant with widespread joy from the fandom — even if it represents the reneging of that emotional moment.
Related: Deadpool Villain Actor Reacts to Wolverine, Addresses Idea of Return
Jackman famously stepped into the role of the enigmatic Logan/Wolverine in the watershed comic book movie that was 2000's original X-Men. While the casting would prove fateful for what would become a 9-film run (counting two uncredited cameos), it was the result of fortuitous circumstances. That's because director Bryan Singer had originally cast a better-known actor in Dougray Scott, who had to give up the role after sustaining an injury on the set of Mission: Impossible II. Thus, an opportunity opened up for the Aussie actor Jackman, who, at the time, was relatively unknown.
While specific details about a prospective new Wolverine remain a mystery, the MCU has already planted plot seeds for its own version of the X-Men, with Ms. Marvel acknowledging the existence of mutants. Moreover, an episode of She-Hulk recently showcases a notable Wolverine Easter egg in a news headline that read, "Man fights with metal claws in bar brawl." Of course, the question of which version of Wolverine is referenced in the scene remains up in the air.
Deadpool 3 will see the return of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine when it hits theaters on September 6, 2024.
Source: The Tonight Show via YouTube
Joseph Baxter is a News Editor for CBR. He has spent several years writing about the entertainment trade for sites such as Den of Geek, Syfy Wire, CinemaBlend and the original for its “The Feed” and “Attack of the Show” sections.
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