'X-Men' fans partly have 'Ray Donovan' to thank.

By Nick Romano
April 29, 2017 at 01:58 PM EDT
James Fisher/Fox

Logan nearly featured another familiar face from days (of future) past: Sabretooth. Director James Mangold revealed last month that Liev Schreiber was originally considered for an appearance in Hugh Jackman’s final movie as Wolverine, and now we know why he was cut.

“There was an invitation early on from Hugh and [Mangold] and I would have loved to work on it,” Schreiber told Variety in an interview for his film Chuck. “It was very difficult given Ray Donovan’s schedule, and I think they went a different direction as well with story.”

“I think it’s a terrific movie,” he added. “I’m just very proud of Hugh and the way that he handled himself with that franchise and that character. It was a great experience to be involved with one of them and to get to work with them. I had mixed emotions when I heard that he was going to retire.”

Had the stars aligned for Schreiber, Logan screenwriter Scott Frank described a potential moment to CinemaBlend in which “they” — presumably Logan, Laura, and Charles — “were on the run, and they go to the gambling town, there may have been at that point they were going to see [Sabretooth] for help. He was going to be there for help.”

Wolverine and Sabretooth have a long, tumultuous history in the comics, but their relationship was really only expounded upon in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Schreiber’s Victor Creed was introduced as Logan’s half-brother before they fought together through various wars in history and their paths diverged upon meeting William Stryker (Danny Huston).

Schreiber sparked speculation over a Sabretooth return for Logan in 2015 when he tweeted about Jackman’s training regime. “Do I have to do that…” he wrote. The actor later confirmed during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, “I was really just saying, ‘Is that something I have to do as I get older?'”

According to Mangold, Logan will soon be returning to U.S. theaters on May 16 with a special black-and-white edition. “Suggestion. Hard core B&W loving LOGAN fans should not make any plans on the evening of May 16th,” he tweeted Friday. “In convert to b&w , one must determine which hues go dark/ light, adjust contrast, blacks. Turning down color on tv just makes gray mush.”

Logan closed out the standalone saga of Jackman’s Wolverine, while introducing Dafne Keen as the fan-favorite mutant clone X-23. Patrick Stewart returned as Professor Xavier alongside Boyd Holbrook as Pierce, Stephen Merchant as Caliban, and Richard E. Grant as Dr. Rice. The R-rated film grossed $697.8 million worldwide.