Wolverine is Hugh Jackman's most well known movie character, and it pretty much launched his career. I honestly couldn't imagine anyone else in the role. In a recent interview with EW, Jackman talked about his friendship with Russell Crowe and how Crowe helped him get the part.
Russell and I actually became very close friends. We were good friends before. We knew each other a lot. And Russell has given me advice several times at key moments in my life that helped with my career. I also owe him because two of the biggest roles I’ve ever had in my life, he turned down – and suggested me for them.
When he was asked about which roles he said,
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.
It's hard to imagine Crowe as Wolverine, and had he taken the part his career would have went down a completely different path. It seems like Jackman was meant to play Wolverine, it's a character he's played for about 12 years, and I imagine he'll keep playing the character for years to come. I'm especially looking forward to seeing The Wolverine, as it has the potential to be the best vision of the character we've seen so far! It comes out on July 26th, 2013.