The Big Picture
- Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine required him to stay in shape for almost two decades, depicting the character’s agelessness and intense suffering as loved ones and his own body fade away.
- The Wolverine movies can be watched in either order of release or chronologically, providing multiple ways to experience the remarkable tale.
- Deadpool 3 will feature Wolverine’s return, potentially introducing a new version of the character and opening up the possibility for a new timeline in the beloved mutant’s story.
Few actors have been able to play the same role for one decade, much less two, and we’re not even talking about a long-running TV drama like Grey’s Anatomy. Playing the Wolverine for the X-Men movies required Hugh Jackman to stay in tip-top shape for almost two decades as he played an ageless character. However, the story of the Wolverine is much more than that of a great actor, and it is a story of intense suffering as friends and family fade away from age, and you die slowly from a poison inside your own body. This story is a rollercoaster from start to finish, but there are multiple ways to experience this remarkable tale.
Here’s how you can watch all of Hugh Jackman’s important appearances as Wolverine, chronologically and by order of release date.
Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on November 19.
Wolverine joins the “merc with a mouth” in the third installment of the Deadpool film franchise.
- Release Date
- July 26, 2024
- Shawn Levy
- Superhero, Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
- 20th Century Fox
Wolverine Movies in Order of Release Date
X-Men – July 14, 2000
X2: X-Men United – May 2, 2003
X-Men: The Last Stand – May 26, 2006
X-Men Origins: Wolverine – May 1, 2009
X-Men: First Class – May 25, 2011
The Wolverine – July 26, 2013
X-Men: Days of Future Past – May 23, 2014
X-Men: Apocalypse – May 9, 2016
Logan – March 3, 2017
Deadpool 3 – July 6, 2024
Wolverine Movies in Chronological Order
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the backstory of James Howlett, the man who would be Wolverine. It recounts how he discovered his natural skeleton claws, his childhood with his brother Victor (aka Sabretooth), and how Colonel Stryker created the Weapon X strike team. Weapon X was composed of only mutants and eventually became the basis for some dangerous experiments that James was forced to endure. After these painful experiments and an even more painful fallout with his brother, James’s life changes forever. While some of this film’s events are referenced in other movies, it is not clear whether this story is completely canon.
X-Men: First Class
Back in the 1960s, we see a walking Charles Xavier and a stable Erik Lehnsherr working together, still on the way to becoming the iconic Professor X and Magneto. These X-Men are different from any we have seen before, but they still manage to see all sorts of combat, leading to a reimagined Cuban Missile Crisis that changes the fate of the newly-formed X-Men forever. World War II veteran James Howlett (aka Logan) has a brief cameo in this movie as Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr attempt to recruit him. However, he tells them to leave with his usual level of complete disrespect.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Days of Future Past contains both famous sets of X-Men actors, with Logan as the connection between the two. In the future setting, we find out that Kitty Pryde (Elliot Page) could theoretically send anyone to the past. However, only Logan’s incredible healing factor and tolerance for pain would let him function far in the past, as he tries to fix history to save the present. Professor X identifies that the taking of Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence) blood is the critical factor in the changing tide of history. And so, Logan must travel to the past, ending up in the 1970s, and attempt to convince Mystique to give up her crusade, or else both teams of X-Men are doomed.
This movie shows us another side of Wolverine. In this version of the 1980s, Wolverine is still a tool of Colonel Stryker. Professor X attempts to work with a team of young mutants who are on their way to fight the ancient mutant known as Apocalypse. They end up using the savage version of Logan as a tool to destroy any form of organized resistance in one of the best action scenes of the movie. Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) is the only one who can stop his rampage and attempts to heal his mind, stabilizing him for the moment.
The first of the movies to be released by order, this movie is in many ways the origin story for the uninitiated. It sets up the long-term warring factions through Logan’s eyes as he is recruited as a late bloomer. In the movie, Logan is taken to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Once there, he establishes a growing relationship with Rogue (Anna Paquin), a young mutant who absorbs powers. Through the course of the movie, Logan finds more reasons to stay around people after his forgotten and painful past.
X2: X-Men United
After Nightcrawler attempts to assassinate the President, a series of anti-mutant movements provokes our old friend Colonel Stryker to begin government operations against all mutants. Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is attacked, and Logan is forced to take a leadership role to protect the young students using his years of experience. At this point, Logan is still learning about his forgotten past, and we continue to get some great claw-popping action as he uncovers his life’s secrets.
X-Men: The Last Stand
This movie focuses on the idea that some people may want to be “cured” of their mutant gene and features the return of Jean Grey. Jean, who initially helped unlock Logan’s memories, has been dramatically changed by her death in the previous movie and her subsequent resurrection. This unexpected turn of events tests Logan’s relationship with Jean as Magento violently reacts to the idea that mutants could ever need a cure. Once again, Logan and the rest of the X-men are pitted against a force they do not understand, as the different mutant factions actively undermine them.
In the second part of the Logan trilogy, we see the troubled mutant travel to Japan to confront more demons from his past. This time, after a strange series of events, Logan’s healing factor is slowed down, and it finally seems like he may become more human. While trying to reconnect with a soldier he saved during World War II, Logan ends up in the middle of modern-age Japan, teeming with mobsters, samurai, and some out-of-this-world weapons that just might be able to finish the Wolverine for good.
Logan is the masterpiece of the Wolverine-focused movies that talks about what happens when virtually all the most powerful mutants have already died. Set in a timeline where just a handful of mutants have survived, this story revolves around a dying Logan and a very old Professor X encountering a new young mutant. This new student has some striking similarities to Logan, and through his interactions with her, we get a chance to see him struggle with the cost of his painful immortality.
Where Does ‘Deadpool 3’ Fit in Wolverine’s Timeline?
After the touching farewell that was Logan, fans were quite resigned to the idea that Hugh Jackman wouldn’t be popping those claws ever again. Turns out, we were wrong. We now know that Wolverine will be returning in Deadpool 3, thanks to an exciting reveal video from Ryan Reynolds. Presumably, this could be a different version of the character as Deadpool 3 is expected to bring the Merc With a Mouth (and company) to the MCU. Assuming it’s a new version of the character, this could be the start of a brand-new timeline for the beloved mutant. As such, the earlier movies are probably referenced but not required viewing for those who want to see Logan pop his claws again once Deadpool 3 hits theaters in 2024. And whether this is a new version of Wolverine or the same Wolverine at a different point in his timeline, this does look like the start of a beautiful friendship.
The Wolverine movies are available to stream on Disney+ in the U.S.
Watch on Disney+