Christmas may have come early for "X-Men" fans with speculation that Hugh Jackman is in talks to star in "X-Men: Days of Future Past," the follow-up to the hit 2011 prequel "X-Men: First Class."
According to the Hollywood Reporter, which cites sources close to the project, Jackman may play Wolverine in the superhero flick.
Directed by Bryan Singer, "Days of Future Past" is to begin production next year. The film is based on two issues from the 1981 comic "Uncanny X-Men," by Chris Claremont.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have already signed on to reprise their roles as Professor Xavier and Magneto, while Jennifer Lawrence will again star as Mystique.
Earlier this week, Singer announced via Twitter that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, who play older versions of Professor X and Magneto, respectively, will also appear in the film, which will combine elements of the past and present into one story.
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Jackman, 44, has starred as the quick-tempered mutant in the "X-Men" trilogy and in the spinoff "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." The actor also had a brief but memorable cameo in "X-Men: First Class." Next year, he will star in the "Origins" sequel "The Wolverine."
The Australian actor shot to worldwide fame after he was cast as Wolverine in 1999. Prior to that, he was known primarily for his stage work in shows like the West End production of "Oklahoma."
Though Jackman is currently earning rave reviews for his performance as Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables," many of his non-"X-Men" films, such as "Kate and Leopold" (2001) and "Australia" (2008), have been critical and box office disappointments.
Considering the "X-Men" series has grossed nearly $1 billion domestically, it's no surprise that Jackman is close to starring the the next installment of the franchise.
"X-Men: The Days of Future Past" is scheduled to hit theaters on July 18, 2014.