On The Tonight Show, Hugh Jackman reflected on his run as Wolverine
When it comes to comic book movies, casting is everything. And perhaps no actor has been more perfectly cast than Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
X-Men recently marked its 20-year anniversary. The 2000 film kicked off its own universe of film that continued through 2019 with Dark Phoenix. It was also the first of what would ultimately be nine movies for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
Jackman ended his portrayal of the beloved character with 2017’s Logan, widely considered one of the best films ever made in the genre while also grossing over $600 million at the box office. It brought to an end career-defining run for Jackman and one that started under unexpected circumstances.
Last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jackman reflected on the 20 years since the release of X-Men. He shared some behind-the-scenes stories about his audition for the role and how he never expected to land the now-iconic part.
Hugh Jackman was never intended to take on the role of Wolverine
Hardcore fans of X-Men and the X-Men film franchise are probably very familiar with the story of how Hugh Jackman became Wolverine. But for the casual fan, it may be a surprise to hear that the actor who is now synonymous with the role was just a backup plan who only auditioned for 20 seconds.
If you believe reports, then a number of famous and well-known actors were considered for Wolverine. The list includes Mel Gibson, Keanu Reeves, Edward Norton, and a handful of other names that make for an interesting game of “what if?”.
As Jackman notes, actor Dougray Scott was eventually locked into the role. When X-Men began filming, Scott was still tied up working on Mission Impossible 2. Jackman was brought in to audition as an emergency, partly on the recommendation of his friend Russel Crowe. Crowe was director Bryan Singer’s first choice for Wolverine but turned down the role. A motorcycle accident prevented Scott from taking the part and the rest is history as Jackman joined X-Men while it was already in progress.
All it took was 20 seconds and a carefree attitude to change Hugh Jackman’s life. Fans are no doubt thankful it played out the way it did because it’s difficult to imagine anyone else playing Wolverine/Logan over the past 20 years. But it’s something that is inevitable as X-Men and Wolverine are destined for a big-screen reboot. Any actor going out for the part of Wolverine has big shoes to fill but maybe he can find some inspiration in Jackman’s unlikely success story.
Who do you think could play Wolverine now that Hugh Jackman is done? Share your fancast ideas in the comment section!