Currently, James Bond directors Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson are searching for the next 007 actor. Whoever they decide will replace Daniel Craig, who stepped down from the position last year. But long before Craig became the Bond we know and love, the star of Marvel and the X-Men was at the top of their list: Hugh Jackman.
Jackman is one of the most popular actors. On top of making history by playing Wolverine for over 15 years, he also broke box office records with his musical theatrical film The Greatest Showman, in which he played the protagonist, P.T. Barnum.
However, before he became a household name, he was offered the part of James Bond in the upcoming Casino Royale movie.
In a new interview, he revealed that he turned it down because he “didn’t want to do the same things” again. He explained that Wolverine and Bond were very similar on the big screen. He said it was a “heroic action star role”. He went on, “This has been the meat and potatoes of a lot of American movies, this archetype. It was all a variation of heroic men in tough situations.”
“Uh, no. That’s a problem,” Jackman, 54, recalled thinking.
Jackman continued, “I caught a glimpse of it. I was like: ‘If I do that.’ [Bond] Wolverine, I don’t have time to do anything else.”
The Australian actor added that he tries to choose his roles based on how the characters act, rather than their prestige. He said, “Obviously, I find it more interesting to play people who color outside the lines.”
He revealed that this trait was the secret of his success. Jackman explained, “I think it’s important for me to be pushed into areas where I don’t know if I can do it. I never felt safe as an actor.”
As a result of the James Bond rejection, the actor has starred in a slew of major motion pictures, including The Prestige, Australia, Real Steel, Les Miserables and Prisoners – as well as half a dozen Wolverine movies.
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Now Craig has resigned from his post after No Time To Die, the Bond bosses are looking for a “30-something” actor to replace him. Unfortunately, this meant that Jackman was out of the running this time around.
However, one of his fellow Marvel actors is currently climbing the ever-changing Bond prospect rankings.
Rumors have been circulating recently that Aaron Taylor-Johnson held a secret audition with Bond’s bosses backstage. The British star is of course best known for playing Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron. After news of this test broke, Taylor-Johnson’s odds of becoming the new and improved 007 were reduced to a staggering 8/1 from Ladbrokes.
This puts him just behind fan favorite Tom Hardy, who is currently a strong 5/1. However, he still has some work to do to become the favorite.
Currently, Regé-Jean Page is the top dog to become the next James Bond. He has an astonishing 3/1 Ladbrokes, and is only bested by one big star: Henry Cavill.
The Superman actor currently has a 7/2 taking on the role, but now he’s firmly back in the cape as Clark Kent, will he have time to be the world’s most famous spy, too?
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “We’ve seen interest in Aaron Taylor-Johnson over the last week or so, and at this point, we can’t rule him out from the front runners… The previous frontrunners, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba, are in 007 betting.”
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