Pop Rocks: Hugh Jackman Quit Wolverine, Put On Tap Shoes
The first time I saw Hugh Jackman was in the original X-Men movie. His portrayal of Wolverine was spot on, moody, angry, spiky handy. The next time I saw Jackman, he was in the 2001 rom-com Kate and Leopold, which is about a duke who travels through time in an attempt to stop Meg Ryan from over-botoxing her lips or something. Suffice to say, it's a terrible movie and my love of Jackman had lessened ever so slightly. Since the early 2000s, he has done plenty of films in which he did not play a brooding mutant, Swordfish, Van Helsing, Deception, Australia. Right, lots of movies that went nowhere that not that many people saw (a lot of people saw Van Helsing but most of them wished they hadn't).
Image Credit: Michael Muller
But I will fully admit that I have barely seen Jackman act as anything other than Wolverine. Until 2008, I only knew him as the infamous Logan and as that character he was a total bad-ass. Then something happened to change my perception. He got up on the stage of the 81st Academy Awards and he sung and tap danced in tails. He was not Wolverine any longer; he was this is happy-go-lucky Fred Astaire channeling old-timey movie star. I was blown away. Who knew the guy had it in him?
Following his Oscar hosting gig, he did something else quite astounding. He belted his heart out in the blockbuster hit Les Miserable, and unlike some of the other actors (err... Russell Crowe), he can really sing. And as such he was nominated for an Academy Award. Whether you like musicals or not, Jackman is a multi-talented dude.
Now let's get back to Wolverine. The latest installment of the Wolverine franchise is making big headlines because it made an absurd amount of money, over $300 million to be more specific. And if you were Fox studios, the enterprise that puts the movies out, you would probably assume that Jackman is the draw and you would do anything possible to get the guy back. One hundred million dollars "anything possible," though? Yowzer!
Yesterday, rumors started to fly around that Fox had offered Jackman $100 million to do a follow-up movie. I understand the basic laws of subtraction, $300 minus $100 is still $200, but that seems like an awful lot of money to give an actor to reprise a role that, frankly, maybe it is time for him to give up.
I didn't see the latest Wolverine movie; however, I heard great things about it. The gist of why it is so good, as I have read, is because it's not a typical "super hero" movie. We have now come to understand that Jackman is not your typical super hero actor. But great or not, he's has been playing this character for 13 years! Maybe it is time to put an end to this franchise or perhaps to try someone new?
As an actor, Jackman has proven that he's got enormous range, why limit himself to being one character; that's worse than being type-cast in a long-running TV show. If the rumors are correct, there is certainly a lot of money on the line, but money isn't everything when you are trying to be a serious actor. Jackman has been known to say that the role is incredibly demanding physically; he has to be ripped. It's more time consuming than other types of movies, which leaves little room to do anything else.
Like his Wolverine character, Jackman is like a guy who's trapped inside this body and he wants to break free. He needs to break free. He just wants to... sing!
Let's not forget the musical television show he did Viva Laughlin, or maybe some of us want to pretend that never happened.
If Jackman was my friend, hey it's possible, I would urge him to turn the $100 mil down and get on the stage. He obviously wants to do a little two-step; I for one would like to see it happen.