Hugh Jackman Teases More Than One Wolverine In Deadpool 3

The earliest known stories to feature doppelgängers — a German word that literally means "double walkers" — first appeared in print in Jean Paul's 1787 novel commonly known as "Siebenkäs." The novel was a satire about a bourgeois man who was advised by his own duplicate to fake his own death and remarry under a new identity. The idea of doppelgängers, of course, was incredibly tantalizing to writers of fiction, and mysterious doubles have appeared throughout fiction ever since. What would you say to yourself, if you met a new version of yourself with their own agency? The philosophical implications are fraught. 

In modern sci-fi parlance, doppelgängers have become common, usually thanks to advanced technology like cloning, time travel, or rifts leading into parallel universes. In comic book cinema, "the multiverse" recently became a buzzword, and already Loki, Spider-Man, Kang the Conqueror, and Doctor Strange have met their own doppelgängers in various films and TV shows. The multiverse is a quick and easy screenwriting excuse to provide audiences with multiple versions of a popular character. It also, to affect cynicism, allows studios to recast actors on a whim. It will be easy for audiences to accept a new Iron Man, for example, if he merely pops in from another dimension, now played by someone much younger. 

In the case of the X-Men character Wolverine, more doppelgängers are on the horizon. In a new interview with Le Parisien, actor Hugh Jackman, who has played Wolverine in nine films to date, says he will be playing at least two versions of the character in the upcoming comedy film "Deadpool 3." 

Wolverine is back for round 10

On September 27, 2022, "Deadpool" star Ryan Reynolds posted a teaser on his Twitter account addressing the potential content of his 2016 film's upcoming second sequel. There was a lot of speculation among fans as to what the future held for the notoriously crass and violent character, as Disney purchased 20th Century Fox shortly after the release of "Deadpool 2." Some were concerned that Disney, famous for its lack of edge and adherence to family-friendly guidelines, would not allow Deadpool to cuss, murder, and tell sex jokes at his usual rate. Whether or not Deadpool's wisecracks will be retained remains to be seen, but the teaser on Twitter did reveal that Jackman would be part of the film, reprising his role as Wolverine. As it turns out, he may also be playing a second Wolverine. 

Jackman's interview, handily translated by The Playlist, revealed (very briefly) that he's playing two parts. He said:

"Yes, it will even be a dual role. [...] Ryan and I have been friends for 20 years; we have a lot of fun together. We are filming this summer. That's why I'm so happy to be in Paris right now and to be able to enjoy French gastronomy. Because very soon, I'm going to have to put myself on a strict diet to remake my Wolverine body: steamed chicken and broccoli!"

Jackman has spoken at length in the past about his diet and workout regimen to get in shape for playing Wolverine, and playing that part has taken a toll on his body and on his voice. In potentially playing two characters, he seems eager to go big. 

Ah, but this is all speculation

"Deadpool 3" isn't due in theaters until November of 2024, and will be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as its 37th film. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the screenwriters of the first two "Deadpool" movies, are writing the script, and the director will be Shawn Levy. Levy worked with Reynolds on "Free Guy" (2021) and "The Adam Project" (2022) and with Jackman on "Real Steel" (2011). Because the film is still in production, it must remain speculation that Jackman is playing both Wolverine and a Wolverine doppelgänger. Jackman could, for as much as is known right now, be playing a version of himself who happens to meet Wolverine. Given the self-aware, meta-narrative bent of the "Deadpool" movies, a real-life Jackman is just as possible as anything. 

The actor's return to the role of Wolverine is a coup. At the end of his ninth film, James Mangold's 2017 film "Logan," the character finally died as a very old man in the distant future. It was a tragic and fitting sendoff, and finally provided that rarest of plot elements in superhero cinema: an actual damn ending to a superhero's story. 

It seems the only narratively convenient way to include Wolverine in "Deadpool 3" is to rip him from a parallel universe. And as long as the filmmakers are potentially monkeying with rifts in the space-time continuum, surely they would rip out a second Wolverine — or a third or a fifth or a 20th — and shove them up their own mythology. We'll find out what happens on November 8, 2024.