If it's crap ... We'll tell you
One of the most interesting things about Hollywood history is hearing all the stories about "what might have been." These typically involve actors who inhabited iconic roles to the point that they became inextricably linked to that character, and the other actors who came very close to having those roles. Hearing Cary Grant was almost James Bond before Sean Connery for example adds fascinating new layers to both the role and Grant as an actor. Well now we can write in another chapter of this strange "woulda shoulda coulda" movie lore. While on a press tour for 'The Wolverine,' Hugh Jackman, who is now playing the X-Men character in his sixth film appearance (counting the 'X-Men: First Class' cameo), mentioned that we was not in fact the first choice for the part. It looks like fellow Aussie thesp Russell Crowewas initially considered. Evidently, this was not the first occasion in which Crowe's passing on a part proved beneficial for Jackman. Here's what Hugh had to say...
"On X-Men, he was Bryan Singer’s first choice for Wolverine, and he mentioned me also for [Baz Luhrmann’s] Australia. He really is incredibly smart, and generous. It was a joy to work with him. The whole cast it was a great sense of ensemble. We all had that feeling it was going to take everything."
Russell Crowe as Wolverine? I'm not seeing it. I know we're playing a major game of hindsight here, but something about Crowe just doesn't scream superhero; his turn as Jor-El in the upcoming 'Man of Steel' notwithstanding. Sure, he's a giant grizzly of a man, but that would only reasonably suit him to play someone like Sabretooth, right? Wolverine needs to be more athletic and spry and even back in 2000 when the first X-Men movie came together, there was something physically inappropriate about Crowe potentially playing Wolverine. Now why he passed on it of his own volition, I can't tell you. Oh wait, yes I can. 'X-Men' came out the same summer as 'Gladiator,' making it cinch that their shooting schedules would have conflicted. Given that he won and Oscar for 'Gladiator,'I'd say he made a good call. Still, it is kind of funny that for a few years it looks like Jackman just followed Crowe around picking up whatever he turned down. Oh, Hollywood, what a strange beast you are.
What do you guys think? Can you possibly picture Crowe as Wolverine? How many movies do you think he would've lasted?