Fans knew long before 20th Century Fox's Logan hit theaters this spring that it would be Hugh Jackman's final Wolverine performance, closing out his 17-year run as Wolverine. While it isn't clear when exactly it will happen, it seems inevitable that, at some point, 20th Century Fox will reboot the franchise with a younger actor as Logan, and while most fans may not be ready for that yet, Hugh Jackman has already come to terms with another actor portraying his iconic character. As it turns out, it was some advice given to him during production of the very first X-Men movie that has prepared him to say goodbye to this character.
What some fans may not know is that, we were almost quite close to having a much different Wolverine. British actor Dougray Scott was originally cast as Logan/Wolverine in the original 2000 film X-Men, but he was forced to drop out when production went long on Paramount's Mission: Impossible II, where he was playing the main villain. This lead to Hugh Jackman, then a relatively-unknown Australian stage actor, landing the role of a lifetime that launched his extraordinary career. When asked about the prospect of Logan being recast, the actor said that he actually hopes the character will be recast, while sharing the story of how he met Dougray Scott after he had taken the Wolverine role.
"I met him early on and I said to him, 'Man, I am sorry.' And he said, 'It's just business, but you have just gotten one of the greatest roles out there, so go crush it.' I just remember being so impressed by that and his class, and hopefully I am a big enough guy that when someone else takes over, I will do exactly what was done to me and I feel glad to just be a part of the legacy of that character. I feel great parts, great characters out live the actors that play them. Bond, Superman, Batman... so, there you go."
Given the state of the X-Men franchise as it stands right now, it would actually be quite easy to recast Wolverine, from a logistical standpoint. Logan is set in the year 2029, five years beyond the X-Men: Days of Future Past prologue, the furthest point ever seen in the X-Men franchise to that point. Since X-Men: Days of Future Past wiped out the continuity established in the original X-Men trilogy, and the new movie X-Men: The Dark Phoenix is set in the 1990s, it's possible that movie could introduce a younger Logan, or its sequel, which would presumably be set in the 2000s, since the prequel trilogy (X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse) has been set roughly a decade apart from each sequel.
The studio is expanding its X-Men franchise even further with The New Mutants hitting theaters April 13, 2018, followed by Deadpool 2 on June 1, 2018 and X-Men: The Dark Phoenix on November 2, 2018. The studio is also developing an X-Force movie on top of all that, so the future of the X-Men franchise is certainly in good hands. As for when we may see a different actor playing Wolverine, that remains uncertain, but you can visit The Hollywood Reporter for their interview with Hugh Jackman, director James Mangold and producer Hutch Parker, where they also tease an upcoming X-23 spin-off.