Hugh Jackman turned down the role of James Bond that went to Daniel Craig

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I got to see Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig in A Steady Rain on Broadway. They were incredible. It was such a big deal because I just happen to be in New York during the show’s 12-week run. Hugh and Daniel were huge. Daniel had two Bond films under his belt and Hugh was soaring. That was the year X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out, which, although a lackluster film, was a testament to how much people loved him as that character. The same character, apparently, that kept him from playing James Bond, a role that went to his buddy Daniel. According to Hugh, he had first crack at Casino Royale that came out in 2006. But he was focusing on expanding his Wolverine role and knew if he did the Bond contract, he’d only ever be playing the two characters. So he passed and the rest, as they say, is history.

Hugh Jackman has claimed he was offered and turned down the role of James Bond before Casino Royale.

The X-Men star says he was offered the role thanks to the popularity of him playing Wolverine but he ‘didn’t want to do the same things’ so turned it down.

In an interview with Indiewire, Jackman added he ‘had a look’ at playing Ian Fleming’s iconic spy but decided to prioritise Wolverine instead: “I was like, ‘If I’m doing that and Wolverine, I’ll have no time to do anything else.’

“I clearly find it more interesting to play people who colour outside the lines.”

[From Yahoo]

“I clearly find it more interesting to play people who colour outside the lines.” But that’s kind of James Bond’s thing. Not only does he often break the rules of MI6, much to the fury of Q and disappointment of M, but his legend is built on dancing on the edge of the regulations of his service. I think Hugh just meant he likes anti-heroes, but I take Bond pretty seriously, as you can see. That said, I’m glad Hugh passed. I don’t know that he’d be a great Bond. And he’s right, he’d be locked into contracts for a long time. Plus, it would’ve been hard to see it as anything other than Wolverine in a tux punching out Le Chiffre.

Hugh wouldn’t have time to do his beloved stage work, either. Like A Steady Rain or his current show The Music Man, which has been a big hit on Broadway. And we would have stories like this one: last weekend, Hugh was auctioning off his hat after the show for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The bid was $19,000 when a woman from the crowd said “$100,0000!” Turned out to be Nicole Kidman and the crowd went flipping nuts. Hugh gave her a big hug. I posted the fan video below, you can read the whole story here, it’s very sweet… and not very Bond-like.

Embed from Getty Images

Photo credit: Cover Images, Twitter and Getty Images

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17 Responses to “Hugh Jackman turned down the role of James Bond that went to Daniel Craig”

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  1. Janey says:

    I like the dude but no, just no. He could never be James Bond, he’s not remotely sexy and lacks that twinkle. Daniel Craig just seems like he’d be filthy in bed whereas Hugh would sing you a lullaby.

  2. The Old Chick says:

    I love Hugh, and I know someone who worked closely with him many times and only has good things to say. But I agree, I don’t see him as the bond that craig needed to be. Craig gave bond the edge we hadn’t seen since connery. There’s a lot to hate about bond, I’ve read the books and ugh, but there’s a lot I also love about the character. I don’t think Hugh missed out – he’s still very rich and successful.

  3. SAS says:

    Oh man! I feel like the only person on the planet that has just never ever bought Daniel Craig as Bond, even though some of his films are spectacular (skyfall is one of my favourite Bonds ever). I find him extremely uncharismatic (how he landed Rachel Weiscz is one of my personal greatest mysteries!).

    So I’ve been very patiently waiting for the next Bond for well over a decade now. Sorry it passed Hugh Jackman by, he’s a pretty interesting actor.

    • Thelma says:

      Agree with you. Never bought Craig as Bond. He’s too short and just doesn’t seem likeable or to have a sense of humor. The good Bonds always had that twinkle and humorous side. I love Hugh Jackman and think he’s handsome and sexy. Would have been interesting.

    • Lorelei says:

      Phew, it seems there’s at least 3 of us. I just don’t get his appeal, he’s the definition of bland to me.

  4. Frippery says:

    Just here to remind everyone that Hugh was not even supposed to play Wolverine. If Dougray Scott hadn’t injured himself on Mission Impossible (2?), we’d be in a much different timeline, lol.

    I also love how Hugh has been able to simultaneously play comic book’s snarkiest, nastiest and toughest growler and maintain an active musical theater career.

  5. Deering24 says:

    Hugh Jackman’s The Prestige role is a pretty good indicator as to how he would’ve done Bond. He’s icy, sexy, manipulative, and his own ultimate vengeful victim. Would’ve been cool to see.

  6. Chaine says:

    Good for him. I personally find James Bond movies incredibly boring and forgettable. His talents would have been utterly wasted stuck in that franchise.

  7. Dutch says:

    Smart move on Hugh’s part. Aussies historically haven’t lasted as Bond.

  8. HeyKay says:

    I must be the only person who doesn’t care about the X-Men or Wolverine or Marvel Universe.
    Bond, same.
    I know these are blockbuster and money makers but, whatever to me.
    I’ve watched a few of these at home, would not pay movie prices, and I can take or leave all of them.

    Hugh has real talent as a song and dance man. His version of Oklahoma! really surprised me.
    I’d enjoy more musicals w/Jackman.

    IMO, Daniel Craig…meh in everything.

  9. Feebee says:

    I’m glad he passed on Bond. I think he may have been too much in the same vein as Brosnan – nothing wrong with that – but Craig did shake things up a bit.

    I went across to see him and DC in A Steady Rain. Unfortunately while Daniel Craig disappeared into his character for me, all I could see was Jackman on the stage even when he stayed in character to talk to the audience member whose phone went off mid performance. But he was still excellent.

  10. Birdie says:

    I will dissent and say that I loved the original Wolverine movie. The second was ok and Logan was a dud. I’ve also loved Hugh as the character, so I’m glad that he decided to stay on and continue in that role. He’s done a lot of musical/theater since then so it probably all worked out for the best.

  11. Bisola says:

    Thank you for adding the twitter link. So beautiful to watch.