Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine in seven movies now. Jackman’s role in the original X-Men trilogy led to mainstream stardom, and in the near-decade since X-Men: The Last Stand, the actor has oscillated between carrying his own solo spinoff series and appearing in the period-piece prequel series. A third Wolverine film will arrive in 2017—and according to Jackman, it will be mark the end of his time playing the clawed Canadian badass with a healing factor that can cure everything. (Except his broken heart. Only time travel can cure a broken heart.)
“This will be my last one,” Jackman tells Dr. Oz, and now pause to imagine the futuristic utopia we apparently live in, where superhero-movie announcements happen on syndicated alt-medical talk shows. “It is my last time,” Jackman reiterates. “It felt like it was the right time to do it. Seventeen years, I never thought in a million years it would last this long.”
Jackman didn’t reveal anything about Wolverine 3‘s plot. Behind-the-scenes, the current plan is to reteam Jackman with James Mangold, the journeyman director who gave 2013’s The Wolverine a lean, mean charm; as of last month, screenwriter Michael Green is working on the screenplay. There’s no shortage of “final” Wolverine stories in comic-book lore. The vaguely popular Old Man Logan imagined a grizzled elderly Wolverine living in a bleak future Sacramento, while last year’s Death of Wolverine story arc robbed Wolverine of his healing factor and sent him on a spirit journey throughout his history as a superhero.
Jackman’s rumored to appear in next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse, alongside the 500 other people playing mutants. That would bring his total comic-book-movie count up to nine, currently a record for leading-man superheroes. Downey’s on his tail, though: Counting his cameo in Incredible Hulk and assuming no major narrative twists, Tony Stark will have appeared in nine movies after 2019’s Infinity War: Part 2.