Scottish actor Dougray Scott – not Hugh Jackman – was all set to play Wolverine in the X-Men movies, beginning with Bryan Singer's first foray back in 2000.
Though Russell Crowe was Singer's first choice, Crowe turned the role down, suggesting the then-unknown Jackman instead.
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Because Jackman was an unknown quantity, Singer offered the role to Scott who took it, but in the end – due to delays in filming on Mission: Impossible II – had to pull out.
Now Scott has claimed that it was Tom Cruise who wouldn't allow him to take the role.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Scott said: “Tom Cruise didn’t let me do it.
“We were doing Mission: Impossible and he was like, ‘You’ve got to stay and finish the film’ and I said 'I will, but I’ll go and do that as well'. For whatever reason he said I couldn’t.
“He was a very powerful guy. Other people were doing everything to make it work.”
Scott played villain Sean Ambrose in the John Woo-directed movie, which famously began with Cruise free-climbing on a sheer cliff face in the Moab desert (though he did a harness, there was no safety net beneath).
However, he said that he bears no grudge against Jackman for taking up the role of Logan.
“I love what Hugh did with [the Wolverine character]. He’s a lovely guy,” Scott added.
Prior to X-Men, Jackman had only appeared in two movies, both being low-budget Australian projects, but it was playing Wolverine which catapulted him to fame.
He'd go on to play the claw-handed mutant eight more times on screen, cementing his career in Hollywood, before finally closing the door on the character with 2017's acclaimed Logan.
Marvel is planning to reboot the series at some juncture, perhaps sooner rather than later given the failure of its last iteration, Dark Phoenix, which tanked at the box office, losing in the region of $100 million.
Meanwhile, X-Men adjacent project The New Mutants is set for release on 3 April, starring Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy.
You can check the trailer below...