While fans were outraged when blonde-haired Daniel Craig was unveiled as the next James Bond, there may have been a different type of commotion if Aussie Hugh Jackman had taken the part. The actor famously got his career-defining role as Wolverine in X-Men when Dougray Scott dropped out three weeks into filming owing to schedule difficulties with Mission: Impossible 2.
Following his role as Wolverine, The Greatest Showman star went on to star in films such as Someone Like You and Kate & Leopold (both helmed by prospective Logan and The Wolverine director James Mangold). In an interview, the Australian actor revealed how he almost portrayed James Bond.
Hugh Jackman turns down James Bond
The Logan actor has disclosed that he was contacted to portray James Bond and has explained why he declined. Jackman, who was being considered to replace Pierce Brosnan, stated that the scripts were too “unbelievable” at the time.
“I was about to do X-Men 2 and a call came from my agent asking if I’d be interested in Bond. I just felt at the time that the scripts had become so unbelievable and crazy, and I felt like they needed to become grittier and real.”
His ideas were rejected, and the actor claimed he was told he had no control over how the James Bond plot unfolded. If Hugh Jackman‘s chronology is accurate, X2 began filming in the summer of 2002, and Die Another Day was released in November 2002, implying that the Bond producers were already looking for a replacement for Pierce Brosnan before Die Another Day.
Perhaps they were just doing their due diligence because that much-maligned sequel marked the end of Brosnan’s contract as Bond, but Brosnan has been open and honest about the fact that he was fired, and it wasn’t declared he was leaving the role until 2004, with Craig’s wildly different reboot Casino Royale hitting theatres in 2006.
Hugh Jackman wanted to try different things
Acknowledging his concerns that the narrative would not resonate with moviegoers, Hugh Jackman voiced concerns that he would never have time to work on other things. He stated that,
“I always tried to do different things, but there was a time between X-Men 3 and the first Wolverine movie when I could see the roles getting smaller. People wanted me to play that kind of hero part exclusively. It felt a little bit claustrophobic.”
The Logan actor had no remorse about declining the potential part. To avoid becoming just another action star, Jackman pursued more diversified roles. In 2013, he was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as the brooding Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.
Fans are expecting the same response from Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill. Cavill has been the most desirable choice for portraying James Bond after Daniel Craig’s retirement from the franchise in No time to Die. The Witcher actor might pull out a Hugh Jackman by performing diverse roles instead of sticking to one for a prolonged period