Logan, Hugh Jackman’s ninth movie as the gruff and rough mutant from the north, began as a conversation between him and director James Mangold on the set of 2013’s The Wolverine: If there were to be another sequel, it had to be something smaller, something darker.
And that’s the film they made. Logan is unlike any other X-Men movie. It’s dark and dreary and — if Jackman is to be believed — the last time we’ll see his Wolverine on screen.
On the eve of Jackman’s final cut, EW sat down with the actor, who’s had the longest stint as a superhero than anyone before him, to talk about his year wearing the adamantium claws and why this movie was the one with which to say goodbye.
Watch the full interview with Hugh Jackman on the PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN), or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
After eight movies, Jackman was having a hard time finding a reason to return. What was there to say about a rapid-healing, 150-year-old mutant? He kept coming back to his conversation with Mangold. What did one last Wolverine movie look like? The pair had several movie references—e.g., The Wrestler, Shane—but only one true touchstone: Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.
Jackman imagined doing for the superhero genre what that 1992 film did for Westerns. “The tone was very clear to me from the beginning,” he says. “But think about pitching that to the studio.”
Over the course of EW’s lengthy chat, Jackman explains the challenges that came with this bold vision and what it took to get it made the right way (including a pay cut). He also goes in-depth about initially losing the role to Dougray Scott and his thoughts on Logan‘s ending.
For more on this week’s cover story, watch EW The Show, available now here, on the new PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
Stay with EW.com and follow this week’s cover writer, @KPSull, on Twitter through the weekend for everything Logan, including answers to your burning questions.