X-Men Completes 20 Years: Hugh Jackman wasn’t the first choice for Wolverine

By Divya G

Next month, the X-Men film franchise will celebrate its 20th anniversary. This widely popular series paved the way for the new era of superhero filmmaking with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy and the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The very first X-Men movie starred Ian McKellen as Magneto, James Marsden as Cyclops, Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Halley Berry as Storm, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. 

Now, for the first time in 20 years since the first film was released, it was revealed that Hugh Jackman was never meant to play the mighty Wolverine in the film. His inclusion was a last-minute addition to the project, which was already underway.

For the role of Wolverine, the studio had already cast Scottish actor Dougray Scott. At that time, Scott was filming Mission Impossible: II and was scheduled to join the X-Men cast soon after the MI shoot ended. However, Mission Impossible got pushed, and the production house could no longer wait for him. 20th Century Fox was heavily dependent on the success of X-Men, so they roped in the unknown Jackman as Scott’s replacement. 

Brian Singer, who directed the first X-Men, even had pushed Wolverine’s scenes to a later date to accommodate Scott’s schedule. However, it didn’t work. 

Things are meant to happen, and Hugh Jackman was born to play the iconic Wolverine, and his distinct style and persona took the character to the next level. And don’t forget the physique he achieved for the role.