MCU’s X-Men Doesn’t Need Wolverine, But Another Upcoming Marvel Team Does

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in Deadpool & Wolverine with Wolverine attacking in X-Men '97

Marvel Studios is set to debut a new version of Wolverine in the MCU, but the iconic X-Men member might be better matched for a different team in the franchise’s future. James “Logan” Howlett’s Wolverine is one of the most recognizable members of the X-Men, thanks in part to Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the clawed mutant in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise. Jackman debuted as Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men, and is set to reprise the role in 2024’s Deadpool & Wolverine in the MCU’s Phase 5, but the hero is expected to be reinvented for Marvel Studios’ upcoming X-Men reboot.

Since Marvel Studios has recently hired The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Michael Lesslie as the writer for the MCU’s X-Men movie, casting news for the new X-Men team could be on the horizon. While it’s unclear who will be cast as the MCU’s new Wolverine, following Hugh Jackman’s return in Deadpool & Wolverine, the clawed mutant is expected to still be a huge part of the MCU’s mutant storylines. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine became a main character in Fox’s X-Men franchise, but the mutant could embark on adventures with a new superhero team in the MCU.

The MCU’s X-Men Should Sideline Wolverine For The Time Being

Wolverine snarling with his claws in X-Men '97

Wolverine was the only mutant hero to get his own solo movie trilogy in Fox’s X-Men franchise, comprising 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 2013’s The Wolverine, and 2017’s Logan. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine also had appearances in almost every other X-Men movie in the franchise, which saw him become the face of the film series, though this culminated in other powerful mutants getting neglected or ignored completely. Because of this, Marvel Studios may take a different approach when introducing the new Wolverine into the MCU, perhaps sidelining the character to give focus to other members of the X-Men team.

Marvel Animation’s recent X-Men ’97 series showed just how well this could work, as Wolverine was far from the core focus of the 10-episode series. Despite not being the focus, Wolverine still had some brilliant moments in X-Men ’97, so Marvel Studios may choose to repeat this with its live-action Wolverine. This may lead to Wolverine being distanced from the X-Men team completely in the MCU’s future, which means some of the character’s other adventures from his rich Marvel Comics history could be explored in live-action, and perhaps even introducing him to a wildly different superhero team.

Wolverine Can Be Introduced As A Member Of The MCU’s Midnight Sons Instead

Wolverine saying let's go in Deadpool & Wolverine

If a new X-Men team is introduced to the MCU without Wolverine on the roster, the mutant could be freed up to join another potential superhero team in the MCU’s future. Since the inception of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, Marvel Studios has debuted several supernatural heroes, spurring speculation that an adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Midnight Sons team could be coming to the MCU. This could present the perfect future for Wolverine, as the clawed mutant joined the dark superhero team in a 2022 limited series, Midnight Suns, in Marvel Comics, and was featured in the Marvel’s Midnight Suns video game.

Wolverine has always been seen as one of the darkest and grittiest members of the X-Men team, and has often taken the form of an antihero, rather than an outright superhero. These darker tones mean he’d fit in perfectly with the Midnight Sons in the MCU, joining the likes of Blade, Moon Knight, Werewolf by Night, and potentially Ghost Rider. This would allow Marvel Studios to tell a different Wolverine story, still featuring him as a major character in the MCU’s future, but allowing other X-Men members to be explored and be done more justice than in Fox’s X-Men franchise.

Wolverine In The Midnight Sons Will Benefit Them & The X-Men Team In The MCU

Wolverine fighting in the woods in Deadpool & Wolverine

Wolverine being distanced from the X-Men, at least initially, in the MCU’s upcoming mutant-focused projects would free up more than enough space for other powerful X-Men members to get their time in the spotlight. 20th Century Fox neglected some of Marvel Comics’ most iconic mutant heroes, so the likes of Storm, Cyclops, Jubilee, Rogue, and even Jean Grey could see justice in the MCU’s future. Of course, Wolverine will surely cross paths with the X-Men at some point in the future, but his omission from the team would benefit the overall mutant narrative of the MCU.

Not only would this benefit the X-Men, but Wolverine’s inclusion in the Midnight Sons team would do wonders for their own introduction. Marvel Studios hasn’t yet confirmed the development of a Midnight Sons-centric project, but the debut of several supernatural heroes in the MCU’s recent installments has all but confirmed the team’s formation. Wolverine would bring serious star power to the team, guaranteeing viewership, and making the Midnight Sons’ debut a true MCU spectacle. This would also allow Marvel Studios to distance this new Wolverine from Fox’s iteration, enabling a new actor to bring something new to the iconic role.

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