The Boys’ Karl Urban becomes the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Wolverine in a new piece of X-Men fan art. Urban is no stranger to genre films; appearing in everything from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. He’s also appeared in multiple comic book movies such as 2012’s Dredd (in which he played the titular character) and the MCU’s Thor: Ragnarok. These days, Urban stars in Amazon’s satirical take on superheroes, The Boys.
Urban plays The Boys’ resident cockney, Billy Butcher, the leader of a group that has been wronged by Vought International and their licensed Supes (The Seven). Before the events of season 1, Butcher’s wife, Becca, was sexually assaulted by The Seven’s leader, Homelander, an event that led to her disappearance/supposed death. As a former soldier and CIA operative, Butcher is a force to be reckoned with. Despite his hardened and morally-ambiguous nature, Butcher is arguably The Boys’ most charismatic character, sporting a sardonic swagger, not unlike Marvel’s Logan AKA Wolverine.
Digital artist Mizuri recently posted some art to Instagram, which argues Urban is the best choice for the MCU’s Wolverine. The piece capitalizes on the visual similarities between Butcher and Wolverine (dark features, beard, etc.) by adding the mutants’ signature claws, dog tags, and cigar. Underneath the blood-stained depiction, it reads “The Wolverine.” Check it out below.
Disney’s 2019 acquisition of 20th Century Fox means that most of Fox’s X-Men will be recast when implemented into the MCU (except for Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool). Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is the most revered character to come out of Fox’s 19-year franchise. However, with Jackman retiring the claws following 2017’s Logan, fan-casting the role for the MCU has become a regular occurrence; choices have included Keanu Reeves, Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, Jon Bernthal, and even Shia LaBeouf. That said, Urban’s portrayal of Butcher gives him a leg up on the competition.
After meeting Hughie and reuniting “the boys,” Butcher has oscillated between being relatively self-centered/withdrawn and caring about others. His arc (especially in season 2) can be compared to Wolverine’s when he meets Charles Xavier and the X-Men. On top of looking the part and possessing similar personality traits, Urban’s performance has helped to make The Boys one of streaming’s most popular shows. Given what Urban has already done in his career, he’d certainly be able to shoulder the weight of a role like Wolverine. It’ll probably be a long time before we see someone fill Jackman’s shoes (especially if he changes his mind and returns) and Urban is only four years younger than his would-be predecessor. Still, it’d be cool to see him try.