While the X-Men have no shortage of iconic characters among their ranks, it would be fair to say that one in particular has captured the hearts and minds of the general public like no other: Wolverine.


The character reached new heights of popularity after Hugh Jackman took on the role for 2000's X-Men. To the chagrin of some fans, who wished to see attention split more evenly across the team, Wolverine became the unofficial lead of the X-Men movies.

When the first trilogy ended on a rather bum note, 20th Century Fox would mine that storyline further in a spin-off focused entirely on the character's tragic origin story, although critical response remained sour.

Fortunately, director James Mangold oversaw a return to form, with 2013's The Wolverine being an improvement on the preceding effort, while swan song Logan was a genuine triumph – even earning an Academy Award nomination.

Suffice to say, there's plenty to enjoy from Wolverine's cinematic outings (despite the ups and downs), although fans might be left wondering where to start thanks to a convoluted franchise timeline. And that doesn't even include his upcoming appearance in Deadpool 3.

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You've come to the right place. Read on for our full guide on how to watch the Wolverine movies in order, both by release data and in chronological order.

Wolverine movies in release order

Hugh Jackman in Logan (2017)
Hugh Jackman in Logan (2017). SEAC

Including both the X-Men movies and Wolverine standalone titles, the complete Wolverine watch order by release date is as follows:

  • X-Men (2000)
  • X2 (2003)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  • Logan (2017)
  • Deadpool 3 (2024)

We've not included the Hugh Jackman mask appearance in Deadpool on this list, but feel free to slot it in just before X-Men: Apocalypse, if you so choose.

The first solo Wolverine flick came out at an unsteady time for the X-Men film franchise, as Fox pondered what to do next following the divisive conclusion to its initial trilogy. The 2009 blockbuster was originally intended to kickstart a series of 'Origins' movies, with Magneto next on the list to take centre stage.

However, after the underperformance of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this approach was reassessed and the studio ultimately opted to repurpose their Magneto film into what eventually became soft reboot First Class. However, there was clearly still money in their clawed brawler, so a standalone Wolverine sequel was also put into production.

James Mangold took directing reins from Gavin Hood, producing a film which fared better both critically and commercially, taking inspiration from a popular comic book storyline in which Wolverine travels to Japan. Mangold returned for the final entry, titled Logan, which was the first to go R-rated following the success of the previous year's Deadpool.

Wolverine movies in chronological order

If you're looking to watch the Wolverine movies in chronological order – i.e. where they take place in the X-Men timeline – then you can actually just follow the same sequence in which they were released.

However, things get a lot more complicated when you factor the wider X-Men franchise into the equation, where Wolverine appears throughout in ways that don't line up perfectly in terms of continuity.

Below is a chronological timeline including every X-Men film that Wolverine appears in, as well as his solo outings emboldened in larger text so you have an idea of where they sit among the other entries. We'll need to wait until Deadpool 3 releases in 2024 before knowing where that version of Wolverine fits in the timeline, if it is even canon.

Here's how to watch Wolverine in chronological order.

X-Men: First Class (1962)

Wolverine only makes a blink-and-you'll miss it cameo in this prequel film, but it does serve to confirm his existence in this new continuity, which was originally viewed as a reboot of the original trilogy (before the two were ultimately merged).

X-Men: Days of Future Past (1973/2023)

Days of Future Past depicts a nightmarish alternate future in the year 2023 (yikes), but the majority of the film takes place in 1973. Nevertheless, due to the time travel element, it could also be placed towards the end of this timeline.

Unlike the original Days of Future Past comic run in Uncanny X-Men, which sees Kitty Pryde taking on the main role, the film adaptation opted to transport Logan between time periods, given he was the current protagonist of the film franchise.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (1845 - 1979)

Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine SEAC

X-Men Origins: Wolverine begins by visiting the character's traumatic childhood all the way back in the year 1845. However, it goes on to speed through much of history before setting its story primarily in 1979.

X-Men: Apocalypse (1983)

Again, Wolverine has only a short cameo here, but it is somewhat relevant to the broader picture in how it connects to the character's frequently referenced time in the barbaric Weapon X programme.

X-Men (2000)

The first of the X-Men films sits right in the middle of the Wolverine chronology, bringing Wolverine to the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters with no memory of his past. Luckily, you'll have watched the films beforehand, so will know all about Logan's history!

X2: X-Men United (2003)

This takes place just after the first X-Men film, and sees Logan search out for more information about his past, alongside playing a leading role in the defence against Colonel Stryker's attack on mutants.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

The Last Stand is the final film in the original X-Men trilogy, teeing up an epic finale for Logan and the X-Men before it would go further into the past.

The Wolverine (2013)

The Wolverine was the first film to be set post-The Last Stand and sees Logan still reeling from the events of that climactic instalment. It also features a mid-credits scene vaguely linked to the then-upcoming Days of Future Past.

Logan (2029)

The closing chapter of Wolverine's story. While Jackman's tenure in the role wasn't without its hiccups, it's impossible to deny that it ends on an impeccable high note.

This moving story explores the relationship between Logan and mentor Professor X, while also introducing a similarly tortured soul in Laura (His Dark Materials' Dafne Keen) – also known as X-23.

Check out our dedicated Sci-Fi hub for more coverage. If you need something to watch tonight, have a look at our TV guide.


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