“Logan,” the final installment in Marvel’s Wolverine trilogy, is also actor Hugh Jackman’s last outing as the clawed anti-hero. An R-rating, stellar reviews, and $237 million in worldwide receipts in its opening weekend, suggest that Jackman is still at the top of his game at the tender age of 48 (please come back for a Deadpool movie. kthx). And let’s face it, he’s a talented and damn good looking fellow who has graced the cover of many magazines.
But I don’t want to feature the covers he’s done in character because they are, for the most part, awful PR handout images. Checkout this TV Guide cover from 2000.
Or this Entertainment Weekly cover from 2009. It looks like a bad photoshoot from Model Mayhem with actors portraying Jackman portraying Wolverine.
Instead let’s go with this to start. Stewart Shining’s cover for People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue in 2008.
Lovely, soft “window” light. It’s an intimate image (Jackman lying on his stomach gazing into the camera) that is absolutely ruined by People’s typography.
Shining had a few more images in the issue from the same shoot. Here’s another great one with that soft light and shallow depth-of-field. I’m also liking the muted palette of his wardrobe, so props to the stylist.
And from Elle Men’s (Japan) March 2014 issue, Warwick Saint took this studio shot – part of a larger package of images that have been published extensively. Saint used a harder light that comes off as more directional even though Shining’s image is also directional. But certainly the pose, styling, and lighting make this a more dramatic image (and we should point out the obvious black-and-white conversion.
Here’s another image from the shoot with that directional light. Notice how much brighter Jackman’s right hand is than his left. Whether intentional or not, it certainly emphasizes the directionality of the light. The type and design also reflects the energy of the shot. W(Elle) played.
This one is tough. The People image is arguably shot and selected for suburban moms and dentists’ offices – a great argument for knowing your audience. But I’m going with Saint’s photo – it feels more like a cover image, and is the more memorable of the two.
Ok, but in truth, my favorite image is this one shot by Logan director James Mangold using a Lecia SL with a Noctilux 50mm. According to his Twitter, he shot it on set at f/1.7 (the current Noctilux has a max aperture of f/0.95). What a thing of beauty.