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Hugh Jackman Not Ready to Drop Wolverine

Hugh Jackman said Tuesday he wasn’t ready to give up playing the popular X-Men character Wolverine as he visited China to promote the franchise’s latest movie, which includes local elements intended to appeal to the massive Chinese audience.

He also told The Associated Press that he thinks he will need future treatments for skin cancer after a second cancerous growth was removed from his nose last week.

“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” the seventh movie in the mutant superhero franchise that has grossed $2.3 billion worldwide, premiered in Beijing on Tuesday. The Australian actor, who has appeared in every X-Men movie over 14 years, said it may have been premature for him to have said the next one would be his last.

Australian actor Hugh Jackman signs autographs on the red carpet for his latest movie “X-Men:Days of Future Past” in Beijing, China, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The latest film sees Jackman travel back to 1973 to change history and save humans and mutants from destruction. It has Chinese elements, including the casting of Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, highlighting how Hollywood studios are keen to attract audiences in the world’s second-biggest movie market as box-office revenue growth flattens out at home.

Fan, who has a small role as the teleporting superhero Blink, said that the movie would gross more in China because of her participation. When the movie’s action moves to the superheroes’ last place of sanctuary, a remote monastery, the Chinese subtitles indicate it is: “China.” However, Fan said at a news conference Tuesday that some of the columns looked “European.”

Jackman said there was a change in Hollywood owing to China’s growing might.

“The Chinese market in particular is just booming, so the larger the market becomes the more the stories are going to reflect what that market wants,” he said in an interview. “I see collaboration in every way as a positive. At the end of the day audiences sniff out cynicism, they sniff out if something is just a marketing driven thing.”

Jackman, 45, whose nose was bandaged after a basal cell carcinoma was removed last week, said he will probably have many more cancerous growths. His type of skin cancer is slow-growing and often recurs, but it is highly treatable.

He told The Associated Press: “I’m realistic about the future and it’s more than likely that I’ll have at least one more but probably many more, which is not uncommon for an Aussie particularly from English stock growing up in Australia where I don’t remember ever being told to put sunscreen on.”

He added: “But the beauty of this is it’s all preventable, it’s just about getting proper check-ups. I can be typical man, a little lazy, I couldn’t be bothered and now I’m not lazy at all.”

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” will be released in China and the United States on May 23. It has an all-star cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage, who plays a scientist wanting to destroy the mutants, was also in Beijing to promote the movie. The blockbuster franchise has grossed $2.3 billion worldwide.

While Jackman previously said that he was pretty sure he wouldn’t act in any further X-Men movies after the next one, which is scheduled for release in 2017, he told the AP: “I think I might have overplayed my hand a little bit by saying I’m almost sure that the next one will be my last.”

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