An X-Men Stunt Gone Wrong Called For A Re-Work Of Wolverine's Claws

While little progress seems to have been made on recasting Wolverine for the MCU, I think we can all agree that Hugh Jackman has immortalized the movie version of the character in a way that will be impossible to replicate. The actor portrayed the mutant over the course of nearly two decades and after perfectly wrapping up Wolverine's arc in "Logan" back in 2017, he seems to have hung up his claws for good. Speaking of the character's famous appendages, Wolverine's claws are certainly one of his trademarks — also that awesome hairdo — so of course, they had to appear in movies that prominently featured him.

Wolverine may have a mutant healing factor protecting him from injury, but Jackman is a mere mortal, as is everyone he's acting with. As it turns out, working with deadly weapons is dangerous and Logan's claws have definitely done some damage over the years. It all began with the very first "X-Men" film in 2000. What happened to make everyone rethink the way they needed to shoot scenes involving Wolverine's claws?

'Yes! I have been stabbed by Wolverine!'

According to Express, there was one moment in "X-Men" that got pretty scary behind the scenes. Jackman recalled:

"On the very first film we had real metal claws and the girl who was playing Mystique, Rebecca Romijn, her stunt double and I were doing a fight sequence in the Statue of Liberty. I went to stab her in the arm, which was part of the choreography, and she's meant to move her arm away and she forgot and the thing went right into her arm, like an inch. I was stunned. It was one of those things, it was so deep, there was a hole, there was no blood coming out and then like a minute later, it was like a geyser. I didn't faint and I thought she was going to freak out, but she just said, 'Yes! I have been stabbed by Wolverine!' Typical stuntwoman."

Jackman also discussed the way his claws were reworked afterwards in an effort to maintain safety on set. Apparently, they went so far as to shoot him with one arm behind his back, using a fake one instead. However, that didn't exactly look great, so it was only used for a single scene.

Those acting opposite Jackman weren't the only ones who could be hurt. The actor told Entertainment Weekly that the claws were "killing machines," and that he'd lost count of how many people he stabbed, including how many times he stabbed himself. Jackman attempted to be as safe as possible, explaining that he practiced with the claws often, though the area he fell short on was "the follow-through." The actor continued, "I've got a number of scars on my thighs, and it's really not cool. Got pretty close to some sensitive areas, but everything's fine."


Figuring out safer alternatives for Wolverine's famous claws wasn't easy, as is evidenced by the terrible CGI ones in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." After that, the claws were redesigned for "The Wolverine," which, according to FX Guide, used different sets of claws, depending on how much action was in a given sequence. There were claws made of plastic, rubber, and metal. Obviously, CGI was still a part of the process, too. Rising Sun visual effects supervisor Tim Crosbie explained:

"Those metal claws are pretty sharp. You can put an eye out pretty easily – they are polished aluminum. They had to be sharp otherwise they wouldn't play properly in close-up. But only a certain level of stunts can be done with them, beyond which even the slightest bump can cut his knuckles – so that's where CG takes over."

CGI can certainly work some impressive movie magic, but for many fans, nothing beats practical effects. However, in a case like this, when the prop in question is dangerous to the other actors, stunt performers, and Jackman himself, it's completely understandable that different methods would need to be employed. Clearly, there was quite a bit of trial and error here, and though CGI has massively improved since the cartoonish claws of Wolverine's first solo adventure, subsequent films went back to using some version of practical claws wherever possible, though of course, VFX were still employed as well. Sometimes the ends of the claws were made to look sharp in post-production, with blunt prop claws used to shoot the actual scenes.

Jackman has hung up those claws for good

Few people have committed to a role the way that Jackman did to Wolverine. The actor transformed his entire body, for years, with relentless training to maintain peak physical condition. Although he somehow managed to embody the mutant more with each movie, the actor obviously paid a high price physically. It's true that not every X-Men movie he was in was great, but he was undeniably excellent in all of them. It's wild to remember a time when comic fans were upset about his casting because they thought the actor was too tall.

While I love Wolverine, I'm hoping Marvel holds off a bit on introducing the character into the MCU. Honestly, I still can't quite imagine anyone other than Jackman in the role. He seems to have moved on though, so it's probably time for all of us to do the same. "Logan" gave Wolverine the ending he deserved, so really, there's no reason for Jackman to take up the mantle again. He's certainly proven himself an incredible actor outside of the Fox's X-Men universe as well, but fans will likely never stop clamoring for him to once again wield those dangerously sharp claws.