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Hugh Jackman on why he turned down the chance to play James Bond

When production was underway for DIE ANOTHER DAY, what would be Pierce Brosnan's fourth and final James Bond film, the producers begain reaching out to actors who could replace him as 007, including Hugh Jackman. While doing promotion for his upcoming musical THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, Jackman revealed to Variety that he was about to start X-MEN 2 when he got the call about playing James Bond.

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. And the response was: ‘Oh, you don’t get a say. You just have to sign on.’ I was also worried that between Bond and ‘X-Men,’ I’d never have time to do different things.

That grittier and more realistic James Bond would arrive several years later with CASINO ROYALE, which saw Daniel Craig take on the role to great success, but it's hard not to imagine what a Hugh Jackman James Bond would have been like, even if it came at the expense of Wolverine. Obviously Hugh Jackman stuck with Wolverine, but it did have an impact on the types of roles being offered. "I always tried to do different things," Jackman said. "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."

After close to two decades playing the role, Jackman finally bid farewell to Wolverine with LOGAN, although the actor wishes that he'd played the character that way from the very beginning. "I wish I’d started playing him like that 17 years ago," he says. "So there’s some sense of missed opportunity, but when I saw ‘Logan,’ I sat there and I did have tears in my eyes. The main feeling I had was: “There, that’s the character. I feel like I’ve done it now.” And I was calm and at peace, but I’m going to miss that guy." Despite Hugh Jackman hanging up the claws, Twentieth Century Fox CEO Stacey Snider isn't about to close the door on Jackman reprising the role. "We’re going to stay open-minded," says Snider. "If there’s an inspired way to bring Hugh Jackman back, we’ll know it when we see it, but it would have to be an idea of integrity that we all wanted to do." If Disney really does scoop up Fox and bring the X-MEN into the MCU, the chance to team-up with The Avengers would likely be a great way to lure Jackman back.

What would you have thought if Hugh Jackman landed the role of James Bond?

Source: Variety

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