Hugh Jackman Revealed the Reason He Turned Down the James Bond Role

Posted 2017/12/06 2058 0

Before Daniel Craig took over the mantle of the iconic James Bond from Pierce Brosnan, Jackman had a shot and passed on the role.


In an interview with Variety, Jackman reveals that after the first X-Men’s success, he was approached about potentially 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.”

The part eventually went to British actor, Daniel Craig, who portrayed the iconic spy in 2006’s Casino Royale. Craig continued portraying the character in Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

Jackman said he hasn’t looked back since taking a pass on James Bond, adding he “always tried to do different things.”

“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,” he said.

Jackman did keep his options open. In 2006, he starred opposite Christian Bale in "The Prestige" and then, a few years later, earned an Oscar nod for "Les Misérables."

He's certainly not the only actor to have passed on a big franchise. Josh Hartnett said he not only turned down the role of Batman in the early 2000's that would eventually go to Bale, but Superman and Spider-Man as well.

"I somehow knew those roles had potential to define me, and I didn't want that," Hartnett told Details magazine in 2014. "I didn't want to be labeled as Superman for the rest of my career. I was maybe 22, but I saw the danger."

Al Pacino also famously passed on "Star Wars," he said in 2014, adding that he didn't understand the script when it came to him. At the time, he said he was "offered everything" after his famous turn in "The Godfather."