Yesterday’s news cycle was more crowded with Marvel characters than your average Spider-Man film—beginning with the trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2, continuing with Bryan Singer’s confirmation that X-Men: Apocalypse would be a part of Fox’s increasingly widespread mutant movie slate, and ending with the news that Simon Kinberg, already working on Days Of Future Past and the Fantastic Four reboot, had signed on to orchestrate Fox’s own interlocking movie universe for its Marvel characters. Obviously, there’s no doubt that Fox and Sony are planning to wring all they can out of the Marvel properties they own—something made even more obvious by Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Sinister Six tease, and the recent confirmation that many more Spider-Man spinoffs are in the works.
But there is some doubt from one of Fox’s key Marvel franchise figures: Hugh Jackman. In an interview with Vanity Fair (via Comic Book Movie), Jackman expressed hesitation about returning to play Wolverine in that recently announced sequel—and, one would assume, all those other X-movies—saying, “I don’t know whether or not I will do this next movie. I am really proud of [The Wolverine] and I am excited to develop something with Jim Mangold from the beginning because that is a great ride. That’s exciting, to see what we come up with, but I have a very high expectation of what it would need to be [for me to star in it] and if it doesn’t reach those, I won’t be doing it.”
Of course, one can probably assume that Jackman’s “very high expectation” has several zeroes after it, and that his uncertainty—stated so publicly right before he’ll be asked to re-up his contract for a bunch of movies at once, Robert Downey Jr.-style—is almost certainly just a negotiation tactic. But who knows? Maybe Jackman really is expressing genuine concern for maintaining some semblance of art in the franchise machine, and refusing to take part in the oversaturation of a character simply for the sake of brand extension. Or, maybe Jackman’s veins finally sat him down for an intervention, and told him they can only be pushed so far before they just up and retire to Florida. Definitely one of those things is going to factor into Fox's Marvel future.