It's hard to think about the X-Men film series without Hugh Jackman also coming to mind. The man played Wolverine for nearly two decades across nine movies, wrapping up his tenure as the clawed mutant in Logan earlier this year. However, if the first X-Men movie had gone according to the original plan, it wouldn't have been Jackman playing Wolverine, but Dougray Scott of Mission: Impossible 2 fame instead. Due to scheduling conflicts, Scott was forced to drop out of X-Men, and after Jackman was recast in the role, he ran into Scott and apologized for the casting switch-up. Jackman recalled:
I met him early on and I said to him, 'Man, I am sorry.' And he said, 'It's just business, but you have just gotten one of the greatest roles out there, so go crush it.' I just remember being so impressed by that and his class, and hopefully I am a big enough guy that when someone else takes over, I will do exactly what was done to me and I feel glad to just be a part of the legacy of that character. I feel great parts --- great characters out live the actors that play them. Bond, Superman, Batman... so, there you go.
After Russell Crowe, director Bryan Singer's first choice to play Wolverine, declined to appear in X-Men, Singer cast Dougray Scott to wear the adamantium claws. Unfortunately for Scott, principal photography on Mission: Impossible 2 ran long, requiring him to drop out of appearing in X-Men, leading Singer to replace him with Hugh Jackman, who Crowe had actually suggested to Singer. The rest is history, but as Jackman recently told THR, he made sure to talk with Scott about what happened when they crossed paths, and Scott was classy about it.
In the years since X-Men's release, Dougray Scott's credits have included Desperate Housewives, Hemlock Grove, Taken 3, Doctor Who and Fear the Walking Dead. So clearly he hasn't had difficulty keeping busy, but still, there's no question that playing Wolverine was a game-changer for Hugh Jackman. X-Men was Jackman's first American production, and playing the popular comic book character paved the way for him to star in movies like Van Helsing, The Prestige, Australia and Real Steel, and elevating him to Hollywood star status. It's a shame that Scott missed out on the opportunity to the gruff Marvel hero, but hey, maybe there's an alternate universe out there he's the one who ended up playing Wolverine for almost 20 years.