Hugh Jackman returning to Broadway in Jez Butterworth play

'X-Men' actor Hugh Jackman returning to Broadway

As the publicity for the latest "X-Men" movie ramps into fifth gear, veteran Broadway producer Sonia Friedman took the opportunity to announce late Thursday that Hugh Jackman -- Wolverine himself -- will return to the New York stage in a production of Jez Butterworth's play "The River."

Jackman will take over the role played by "The Wire" actor Dominic West in the play's London production, which opened in 2012 at the Royal Court. The Broadway engagement is scheduled to begin performances Oct. 31 at the Circle in the Square theater.

The New York cast will include Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, who appeared in the London staging. Ian Rickson will direct the play on Broadway as he did at the Royal Court.

"The River," which had a running time of approximately 80 minutes when it played in London, tells the ambiguous story of a fishing enthusiast (Jackman) who must contend with a missing woman. The play earned mostly positive reviews in London and was a popular draw at the box office.

Butterworth is the author of the play "Jerusalem," which had successful runs on Broadway and London with actor Mark Rylance.

Jackman most recently appeared on Broadway in the special concert production "Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway" in 2011. His other New York stage credits include the play "A Steady Rain" and the Peter Allen musical "The Boy from Oz." 

The "X-Men" star will host this year's Tony Awards ceremony, which is set to take place June 8 at Radio City Music Hall and will be broadcast on CBS.

"X-Men: Days of Future Past," which opens May 23, will see Jackman reprise his Wolverine role that he has already played several times in the popular superhero franchise and its spin-offs. 

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