Hugh Jackman will play the X-Man Wolverine one last time in 'Logan', which is now playing in theaters across America. The appearance marks the 9th time that Jackman has played the feral mutant since the Australian actor first donned his adamantium claws in 'X-Men' (2000). But Jackman isn't the first Australian Wolverine.
That honor goes to voice actor William Callaway, who portrayed Wolverine in a 1982 episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends called 'A Firestar Is Born'. The team behind the series, which paired Spidey up with other heroes from the Marvel Comics Universe, decided to put an Aussie spin on the Canadian mutant.
And they're not the only ones to 'Auss-ify" Logan. Actor Patrick Pinney used a down-under accent when he voiced Wolverine in 'Pryde of the X-Men' (1989) -- a pilot episode for an X-Men cartoon that failed to become a series. The episode focused on Kitty Pryde - the phasing mutant played by Ellen Page onscreen - and the challenges she faces as the team's newest and youngest member. And one of the toughest challenges she faces is getting along with the cranky Wolverine, whose gruff attitude was embellished by the Australian accent.
The strange thing is that neither Callaway nor Pinney were Australian. Both were California-born actors who imitated Aussie accents in order to market the character. Rick Holberg -- the voice director on both shows -- says that he was forced to edit the character in order to tap into the appeal that Australian characters had in the 80s.
"I ended up being the voice director on the show, and I was forced to use the Australian version of Wolverine...because all of this Australian stuff was popular at the time - the Mad Max films, "Crocodile" Dundee, and so on," he later explained.
But apparently 'Aussie-philia' had died down enough by 1992, when Irish-born voice actor Cathal J. Dodd voiced Wolverine with a North American accent on the second animated X-Men series. But the character himself was still at odds with his Canadian roots in some episodes...