Assessing Hugh Jackman: Wolverine & I Are Done, Professionally
Date of Assessment: October 5, 2011
Positive Buzzwords: Diversity, talent, theater
Negative Buzzwords: Van Helsing, Wolverine
The Case: Forgive me for the overall lack of objectivity that shall follow, but I just cannot move past the fact that Hugh Jackman starred in Van Helsing. Yes, I do realize that he's not solely responsible for that shittastic display of epic proportions, but his direct involvement and profit thereof is a problem, so please consider this introduction as a fair warning that I am unable to be impartial about Jackman.
Look, we all know that Hugh Jackman can sing and dance (even those who didn't watch Australia, which would include most of the civilized population, will realize as much after watching his Oscar hosting gig). He's had raging success as a theater actor in the likes of Oklahoma!, Sunset Boulevard, and Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Clearly, Jackman is a terribly talented man, but is there really a market out there for anything Hugh Jackman-related isn't inexplicably tied to the hot-tempered mutant known as Wolverine?
Obviously, Jackman is a pretty diverse actor. His roles have ranged from the Outback truck driver turned romance novelist of Paperback Hero; to the womanizing jagoff of Someone Like You; to the computer hacker (and sidekick to John Travolta) of Swordfish; to the time-traveling pantywaist (who romanced Meg Ryan in the last gasps of her dying career) of Kate & Leopold; to the tortured magician of The Prestige; to the cattle drover of Australia; to the skeevy lawyer of Deception; to the budding politician and potential serial killer of Scoop; to his tripartite turn in The Fountain; and so on. This year, he's starring in Real Steel and Butter, which are both very different roles that highlight his dual nature as tough guy and romantic love interest.
And yet it all comes back to his only financially viable role, Wolverine (X-Men; X2; X-Men Origins: Wolverine), who largely appears in popcorn-munching movies of poor quality but is apparently a huge box-office draw. Although I admit that his X-Men: First Class cameo was a classic moment, that was five seconds of the whole of Wolverine's cinematic existence. Unfortunately for Jackman, all of his other work and excess of talent all comes back full circle to Wolverine; well that, and fucking Van Helsing. It's such a damn shame.
Prognosis: Jackman's still got lots of stuff in various states of production (including Les Misérables, which is a great career move and will utilize his true talents, not that anyone but critics will notice; and The Wolverine, which will do insanely well financially even though Darren Aronofsky stepped out of the project) and in development (something called Avon Man, really?). Still, no matter what he does, I will never forgive him for his participation in Van Helsing. Hell, I will never forgive anyone (not even Kate Beckinsale and her introductory buttshot) for Van Helsing. And when it comes to his continued participation in Wolverine affairs, I can no longer cope with Hugh Jackman despite any amount of shirtless beach jaunts. In the spirit of his former co-star, Christian Bale, I do declare that Hugh Jackman I are over, professionally.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.