Wolverine has had long (and rocky) existence in cinema, but there is no denying that Hugh Jackman has played the role flawlessly. Even if the movie was bad, Jackman portrayed Logan perfectly. Think all the way back to the original X-Men, we've known for several years that Jackman was not the first choice to play Wolverine, but his fellow countryman, Russell Crowe was actually Bryan Singer's first choice. Now we finally know why Crowe decided not to take the role that became career defining for Jackman.
According to News.com.au Crowe explained what happened while guest hosting on a Australian radio show Fitzy and Wippa:
“Bryan [Singer, X-Men director] was a friend at the time and he was really putting the pressure on,” the star admitted. But Crowe said his Gladiator character’s association with wolves turned him off the idea. “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],” he explained. “So I said no, because I didn’t want to be ‘wolfy’, like ‘Mr Wolf’.”
And funny enough all of Crowe's concerns with the wolf references in Gladiator were cut out and never made the final cut.
“I owe him because two of the biggest roles I’ve ever had in my life, he turned down — and suggested me for them. 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.”
How do you think Crowe would have done as Wolverine? I think it worked out the best possible way.