Hugh Jackman Makes The Long List Of Actors Who Could Have Played Bond. How Wolverine Was Involved In Him Passing

When Hugh Jackman was cast as Wolverine in the first X-Men film, it was impossible to know just what an impact that role would have on movies, and on Jackman’s own career. While the actor has been able to take on a diverse set of roles, he will likely always be known as Wolverine to a generation of fans, and it’s this fact that led to him choosing not to go after the role of James Bond. 

Hugh Jackman became an instant movie star thanks to Wolverine, which led to him getting a lot more movie offers than he had seen previously. Unfortunately, Jackman tells Indiewire that most of the roles were very similar action hero type characters, and he wanted to do different things. In the end, when he was asked if he was interested in the James Bond role, Jackman says he turned it down because he didn’t want to get involved in a second major franchise. The actor explained…

I had a look at it. I was like, ‘If I’m doing that and Wolverine, I’ll have no time to do anything else.’ I clearly find it more interesting to play people who color outside the lines.

Hugh Jackman was certainly able to play a diverse set of roles alongside playing Logan. During the X-Men movie days he also made movies like Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, and Baz Luhrmann’s Australia. He was also nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Les Misérables. To call these roles and films diverse and "outside the lines" would be an understatement.

It’s not hard to imagine that if Hugh Jackman had been working on James Bond movies in between X-Men movies, he would have had the time to do a lot of those other projects. And Hugh Jackman is a versatile actor who is just about to wrap up a run on Broadway in The Music Man. That’s another thing he likely wouldn’t have had time to do if he was working on Daniel Craig’s Bond schedule. While Jackman clearly likes the action roles, it’s not all he likes. He continued…

I didn’t want to do the same things,. You know, the role of the hero action star. I mean, it was the meat-and-potatoes of a lot of American film, that archetype. It was all various forms of heroic guys in tough situations. I was like, ‘Uh, no. This is a problem.’

Hugh Jackman has had the more varied career that he wanted, but Wolverine certainly has never been too far away. And he will return to that well at least one more time, as we know Hugh Jackman and Logan will be back in Deadpool 3. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.