Hugh Jackman returning as Wolverine in Deadpool 3

An undated photo of Hugh Jackman embracing Ryan Reynolds in his Deadpool costume (left). PHOTOS: AFP, HUGH JACKMAN/INSTAGRAM

LOS ANGELES – Australian actor Hugh Jackman is not done with mutant superhero Wolverine just yet.

Though the 53-year-old ostensibly bowed out as the popular Marvel Comics character with the 2017 film Logan – almost two decades after his first appearance in X-Men (2000) – it seems he will be making a return in the third Deadpool film, slated for release in September 2023.

Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds, 45, announced Jackman’s return and the film’s release date in a Twitter video on Tuesday.

“We’ve been working very hard on the next Deadpool film for a good long while now. I’ve had to really search my soul on this one,” he says, noting that it will be the wise-cracking antihero’s first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Disney, which owns Marvel, obtained the film rights to the pool of X-Men characters, which include Deadpool and Wolverine in 2019, when it made a US$71 billion (S$96 billion at the time) acquisition of entertainment assets from media conglomerate 21st Century Fox.

Reynolds adds in the video: “Every Deadpool (film) needs to stand out and stand apart. (This third film has) been an incredible challenge that has forced me to reach down deep inside. And I... I have nothing. But we did have one idea. Hey, Hugh, you want to play Wolverine one more time?”

Jackman, who is then seen walking by in the far background, answers: “Yeah, sure.” He echoed the sparse reply in his re-posts of the video on Instagram and Twitter.

But the two superstar actors have had a long-time rapport off-screen – ever since Reynolds, who is Canadian, appeared as a version of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). They have a history of trolling each other on social media and in media appearances, such as when Reynolds posted a video of himself wearing socks printed with Jackman’s face.

“Look, I don’t tell you how to celebrate Hugh Jackman’s birthday. So don’t tell me... Socks to be Hugh,” he wrote on TikTok in October 2021.

Jackman had a hilarious comeback: “(Reynolds) darned (the socks) himself. I know, it’s just... really sad.”

Since his last appearance as Wolverine – who is known for his razor-sharp claws and powerful healing ability – Jackman has kept busy on film and stage. He has a daughter, 16, and son, 23, with his wife, Australian actress Deborra-Lee Furness,

Reynolds has also been occupied with his various film and business ventures, which include a running a gin brand and Welsh football club, and the recent Netflix film, The Adam Project. He and his wife, actress Blake Lively, confirmed earlier in September that they are expecting their fourth child.

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