Russell Crowe recalls turning down the role of Wolverine


By now, it's pretty hard to imagine Wolverine being played by anyone else other than Hugh Jackman. The actor concluded an decade-and-a-half, iconic run as the mighty mutant earlier this year in Logan, and it now seems that both Marvel and 20th Century Fox are in no rush to recast. However, at one point, another Australian actor — Russell Crowe — was up for the role, until he turned it down for a rather strange reason.
”Bryan [Singer, X-Men director] was a friend at the time and he was really putting the pressure on," Crowe recently explained in an interview on Australian TV.

The actor had just finished up filming Ridley Scott's Gladiator, and didn't want to be typecast as, yes, a fan of wolves.

”If you remember, Maximus has a wolf at the centre of his cuirass, and he has a wolf as his companion ... which I thought was going to be a bigger deal [at the time]...So I said no, because I didn't want to be ‘wolfy', like ‘Mr Wolf'."

As it turned out, pretty much all the ”wolfy" scenes were cut from the final version of Gladiator, so Crowe's worries were for nothing. He, apparently, isn't beating himself up too much about the missed opportunity — it was him that suggested Hugh Jackman to Singer and company, after all.

”I owe him because two of the biggest roles I've ever had in my life, he turned down — and suggested me for them," Jackman said in an earlier interview with EW, referring to Wolverine and the lead role in Baz Luhrman's Australia.

Turned out well. Gladiator is awesome and there seems to have never been an actor who cherished and loved his role as a comic book character as long as Huge Jackman has the past 17 years. 17!
Can you imagine Crowe starring in the X-Men movies in the same frame of time during which he would have otherwise starred in megabombs like Master and Commander, Robin Hood or Noah?
Hugh Jackman's initial hunger and ultimate appreciation for the Wolverine role made him consistently fantastic in it. Glad Crowe turned it down because I could see him and really just about any other actor get complacent and sloppy with the character after 15 years.
Not to diss Crowe, but dude probably wouldn't have been able to stay in good enough shape to be Wolverine for half as long as Jackman has been playing the character... even with the same regiment of training / pharmaceuticals.
I wish we could hop into parallel universes sometimes just to see how alt cuts of movies played out.

Russel as Wolverine, Stolz as marty mcfly, will smith as Neo.

Hell, maybe even smaller changes like , what if Singer had made his own third Xmen film instead of making superman returns. What if the Sam Raimi Spiderman 4 happened ?

So many what ifs.

I mean... I think we ended up on the good side where were at really but it's fun to think about.
Can you imagine Crowe starring in the X-Men movies in the same frame of time during which he would have otherwise starred in megabombs like Master and Commander, Robin Hood or Noah?
An entire planet and you choose this one thing on it to be wrong about in my fact.[/shamebell]

I believe it when people tell me M&C is a masterpiece. I was just trying to measure the payday Crowe was turning down and checked the receipts and jeeeezus.
Oh.. well.. never mind then [/shamebells self]
Fortunately this isn't as much of a massive mistake as other sad stories like when you read about how George Lazenby turned down reprising the role of James Bond for another couple films because his agent told him James Bond wouldn't be a thing in five years (and only got paid $50,000 for On Her Majesty's Secret Service versus 1.25 million for Diamonds Are Forever).


One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
I like Crowe as an actor but I wouldn't want to give up Huge Jackedman.


Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Honestly, I would have liked Crowe in the role better.

Jackman was great in Logan though.. but I honestly think Crowe would have still been better.


wishes it were bannable to say mean things about Marvel
Master and Commander is one of the best movies of the last twenty years so I'm glad he turned down X-Men.
Master & Commander is, and I am not kidding, one of my favorite films of all time. I watch it several times per year. I wish they had made more of them.
It's insane to me that Crowe is only 5 years older than Jackman.

Sure, Gladiator was his peak, but he's been playing, aging, old, kind of fat dudes for like 10 years now.


Clothed, sober, cooperative
Jackman is 14x the actor Crowe is.
Huh. I like Jackman's IRL persona WAAAAY more than the Crowe's "male Naomi Campbell rugger bonding" charisma, but they are both genuinely good at the sport of pretending to be other people.

I could see picking one over the other, but there's no 14x scale to be had here.