From the moment Disney announced that they would be purchasing assets belonging to 21st Century Fox, fans of the X-Men franchise have been speculating wildly as to what the merger could mean for Marvel’s mutant collective. We now have our first clue into the future of the X-Men, and it would appear as if Disney has chosen to keep their casting in-house for everyone’s favorite cigar chompin’, beer swilling Canadian badass, Wolverine.
As part of what is assuredly a surprise announcement, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed that HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL and BAYWATCH actor Zac Efron will be the next to pop as Wolverine for a planned reboot of the X-Men. “We’d always hoped that one day the X-Men would find their way into the MCU. Now that the deal is complete, we can finally tease some of our plans,” Feige said in a statement. “There’s no careful way to go about announcing the next actor to play Wolverine. People are really attached to the character at this point, and so rather than keep everyone in suspense, we thought we’d use this exciting announcement as a sign of great things to come.” He then continued, “Hugh’s input on who should replace him as Wolverine was very important to us. He’s been instrumental in building the X-Men universe on screen since the start of the franchise, so when he came to us with the idea of casting a former Disney star, we kept the idea in our back pocket.”
According to sources close to the MCU X-Men project, talk of Efron taking over the role began in 2017, when he and veteran Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman got together for Michael Gracey‘s THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. Evidently, the two had bonded on set thanks in-part to their shared affinity for the character, with Jackman later floating Efron’s name as a contender to take his place down the line. Fast-forward to today, to when Disney wrapped a behind-closed-doors meeting with Efron, and you’ve got the MCU’s first mutant, Wolverine.
“Zac will be a great addition to the MCU,” said Feige. “He’s been a beloved member of the Disney family for years and we’re excited to have him leading the X-Men into their next phase.”
For the moment, no director or writer has been assigned to the MCU X-Men project. And while this news will certainly come as a shock to many, this wouldn’t be the first time that Marvel has gotten the jump on their twenty-year plan. Efron is an in-demand actor after all, so I suppose it’s best to have him sign that contract sooner rather than later, no?
Wait a minute … do you think Efron’s Wolverine will be teased as part of an end-credits sequence for AVENGERS: ENDGAME? Nah, that’s just crazy talk, right? It’s way too soon for that sort of thing … or is it? Let us know what you think of Efron’s casting in the comments section below!