Not many superheroes can wallop bad guys and belt out a tune with equal aplomb, but Fox's "X-Men" franchise boasts just such a guy in Hugh Jackman, a.k.a. Wolverine.
The star of last summer's "The Wolverine" demonstrated his singing prowess in an appearance on BBC Radio 1 over the weekend, while also managing to hype his upcoming movie "X-Men: Days of Future Past," which opens May 23.
Offered a new set of lyrics to the tune of "Who Am I?" from the musical "Les Miserables" — the film adaptation of which earned Jackman an Oscar nomination for his performance as Jean Valjean — the Australian actor sportingly sang, "Who am I? Am I a superhero with some claws, or just an actor searching for applause. Wolverine has all the fans, but what about me, Hugh Jackman?" (Watch the video above.)
Jackman went on, "I play the wolf-man, yes, it's quite the task, in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' — there's the plug!"
Indeed, Jackman's radio spot follows on the heels of a new trailer for "Days of Future Past," the highly anticipated follow-up to Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class," an origins tale that helped reinvigorate the franchise in 2011, and Bret Ratner's "X-Men: The Last Stand," which was a box-office hit in 2006 but suffered some scathing reviews and left many fans feeling sour.
The story for "Days of Future Past" involves Wolverine having his consciousness sent back in time into the body of his younger self so he can rally the X-Men and prevent a dystopic future in which mutants are hunted by robots known as Sentinels.
With its time-bending premise, the Bryan Singer-directed film will unite the casts of '60s-set "First Class," which includes Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence, with that of the contemporary-set X-films, which feature Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, creating a kind of super-movie of a sort.
Of course, it wasn't that long ago that the "X-Men" franchise was on shaky ground: After "The Last Stand's" missteps, 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" saw its global ticket sales drop nearly 19% from its predecessor.
"First Class" and "The Wolverine" fared better, the latter taking in $413 million worldwide, and "Days of Future Past," with its star-studded cast and Singer back at the helm (after directing the first two "X-Men" movies), looks to have plenty of momentum.
Still, there's a lot at stake for Fox, which has been building up to this film for years; it's a kind of all-in "Avengers" moment that will mark the culmination of the awareness the previous films from its banner property accrued--and also could either pave the way or create a hurdle for two more films, "X-Men: Apocalypse," set for 2016, and Jackman's planned sequel to "The Wolverine" in 2017. The future can always be uncertain — even for time-traveling superheroes.