Hugh Jackman Recalls His ‘Twenty Second’ Audition For X-Men

Hugh Jackman in X-Men

Hugh Jackman has had a long career in film, TV, and theater, earning a variety of awards in the process. But the role he's most known for is playing Wolverine in 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise. Jackman ultimately starred as the role for a whopping seven movies, not including a handful of delightful cameos. The 51 year-old actor has been open about feeling like he'd be fired when working on the 2000 original movie, and it turns out that his audition for the role was extremely short. Namely, around 20 seconds.

It's hard to imagine anyone else playing Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, but Hugh Jackman was actually a late addition. In fact, another actor was originally cast and had a scheduling conflict. Jackman was new to the film world, and it turns out that he didn't have a particularly long audition process. He recently explained the backstory, saying:

When I walked into that room, I was pretty sure that I wasn't playing the role. It was a weird audition because Dougray Scott had the role and then he got caught up in Mission: Impossible 2 but everyone thought that would get sorted.

That's right, Hugh Jackman wasn't originally meant to play Logan/Wolverine in Bryan Singer's OG X-Men movie. That role instead went to actor Dougray Scott, who is known for his role in projects like Mission: Impossible 2 and The CW's Batwoman. But when the Tom Cruise sequel conflicted with the Marvel flick, Singer and company needed to find a quick replacement.

Enter the great Hugh Jackman. While appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he went on to explain how brief his audition for X-Men truly was. While we know that he eventually landed the role, it couldn't have inspired much confidence in Jackman himself. As he put it,

I think the entire audition was about 20 seconds. It wasn't much longer.

While superhero audition processes are notoriously long (just ask Tom Holland), things were a bit more fast and loose with Bryan Singer's original X-Men movie. At least where Hugh Jackman was concerned, with the actor eventually becoming the most iconic figure from the entire property. He played Logan for a whopping 17 years, before hanging up the claws with Logan.

You can see Hugh Jackman's appearance on The Tonight Show Staring Jimmy Fallon below, including a clip of his original audition.

It should be interesting to see what comes next for Wolverine, now that Disney has acquired 20th Century Fox and its properties. There's no telling when Kevin Feige and company will bring the mutants to the greater MCU, but it's a concept that fans have been waiting for over the past decade. Wolverine seems like a great choice to finally have join the shared universe, but whatever actor replaces Hugh Jackman will have some seriously big shoes to fill.

The last installment in the X-Men franchise as we know it is The New Mutants, which is currently expected to hit theaters on August 28th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.