Viggo Mortensen Reveals Why He Turned Down the Role of Wolverine

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Playing Wolverine turned Hugh Jackman from an unknown Australian actor into a superstar. But it came very close to not happening at all. Before Jackman got the role, Fox had chosen another person to play Logan: Dougray Scott, who only lost the gig when shooting of Mission: Impossible II became so delayed that Scott could no longer appear in X-Men. The studio had to scramble to find a replacement at the last minute. Jackman answered the call, and the rest is history.

But Dougray Scott as Wolverine is just one of the possible versions of X-Men we almost got. Before he was cast, Fox wanted Viggo Mortensen. He even met with director Bryan Singer about the part. In a recent interview promoting his new movie Falling on the Happy Movie Sad podcast (via Movieweb), Mortensen revealed why he turned down the role. Besides his concern about the massive “commitment of endless movies of that same character,” he was mainly wary because he brought his son Henry to the meeting, and Henry was not impressed with the X-Men script’s unfaithful version of the character.

Mortensen explained:

I mean they straightened most of them out, but I did take Henry to the meeting I had with the director as my sort of good luck charm and guide. In the back of my mind I was thinking he could learn something, too, because I did let Henry read the script and he goes ‘This is wrong, that’s not how it is.’

The version of Logan in X-Men was pretty faithful to the comics. Yes, Hugh Jackman’s a whole lot taller than the pint-sized comic-book Logan, but Jackman’s performance captured the look and attitude of the character perfectly. That makes me interested to see what that original script looked like. How different was it from the version that wound up on screen? As for not making a commitment to a bunch of movies, Mortensen went on to make three The Lord of the Rings movies just a few years later. But he didn’t have to wear ridiculous mutton chops and claws on Middle-earth.

Gallery — Every X-Men Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best:





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