Hugh Jackman has said that he didn’t end up playing James Bond because he wanted to change the character and the plots to become ‘gritty’ and ‘real’.
And was then bluntly told that he wouldn’t be allowed to.
The Logan star told Variety that he met with producers of the venerable movies, but he wanted to have too much input.
“I was about to do X-Men 2 and a call came from my agent asking if I’d be interested in Bond,” he said.
“I just felt at the time that the scripts had become so unbelievable and crazy, and I felt like they needed to become grittier and real.
“And the response was: ‘Oh, you don’t get a say. You just have to sign on.’ I was also worried that between Bond and ‘X-Men,’ I’d never have time to do different things.”
The role then went to Daniel Craig instead, and actually, did take the subject matter in a rather more gritty direction, in the wake of Matt Damon’s Bourne movies.
And so Jackman joined the ranks of the actors who almost played James Bond, but never quite manage to get measured up for the tux, including Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Michael Gambon, and Mel Gibson.
Those who were also considered possible replacements for Pierce Brosnan included Rupert Friend, Julian McMahon, Clive Owen and Dougray Scott.
Jackman, meanwhile, is next up in the P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman, due out on Boxing Day.