Currently, James Bond bosses Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson are looking for the next 007 actor. Whoever they decide on will replace Daniel Craig, who stepped down from the role last year. But long before Craig was the Bond that we know and love, a Marvel and X-Men star was at the top of their list: Hugh Jackman.
Jackman is one of the most popular actors around. On top of making history by playing Wolverine for more than 15 years, he also broke box office records with his musical theatre movie The Greatest Showman, in which he played the protagonist, PT Barnum.
However, before he was a household name, he was offered the part of James Bond for the then-upcoming movie Casino Royale.
In a new interview, he revealed that he turned it down because he “didn’t want to do the same things” over again. He explained that Wolverine and Bond were too similar on the big screen. He said it was “the role of the hero action star”. He went on: “It was the meat-and-potatoes of a lot of American films, that archetype. It was all various forms of heroic guys in tough situations.”
Jackman, who is 54-years-old, remembered thinking: “Uh, no. This is a problem.”
Jackman went on: “I had a look at it. I was like: ‘If I’m doing that [Bond] and Wolverine, I’ll have no time to do anything else.’”
The Australian actor added that he tries to pick his roles depending on how the characters act, rather than their prestige. He said: “I clearly find it more interesting to play people who colour outside the lines.”
This trait, he revealed, was the secret to his success. Jackman explained: “I think it’s important for me to be pushed into areas where I don’t know if I can pull it off. I’ve never felt safe as an actor.”
As a result of turning down James Bond, the actor starred in a plethora of major motion pictures, including The Prestige, Australia, Real Steel, Les Miserables and Prisoners – as well as his half-a-dozen Wolverine movies.
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Now Craig has stepped down following No Time To Die, Bond bosses are looking for a “30-something” actor to take his place. Unfortunately, that means Jackman is out of the running this time around.
However, one of his fellow Marvel actors is currently climbing up the rankings for the ever-changing Bond odds.
Rumours recently hit that Aaron Taylor-Johnson had a secret audition with Bond bosses behind the scenes. The British star is, of course, best known for playing Quicksilver / Pietro Maximoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron. After news of this audition hit, Taylor-Johnson’s odds on becoming the new-and-improved 007 have been slashed to a staggering 8/1 from Ladbrokes.
This places him just behind fan favourite Tom Hardy, who currently has a powerful 5/1. However, he still has some work to do to become the favourite.
Currently, Regé-Jean Page is the top dog to become the next James Bond. He has an incredible 3/1 from Ladbrokes, and is only being tailed by one major star: Henry Cavill.
The Superman actor currently has 7/2 on taking the role, but now he is firmly back in the cape as Clark Kent, will he have time to be the world’s best-loved spy as well?
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “We have seen interest in Aaron Taylor-Johnson over the last week or so, and at this point, we can’t rule him out of the list of frontrunners… he’s now firmly among the likes of former favourites, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba, in the 007 betting.”