LOTR Star Viggo Mortensen Explains Why He Turned Down The Role Of Wolverine In X-MEN

LOTR Star Viggo Mortensen Explains Why He Turned Down The Role Of Wolverine In X-MEN

Several actors were considered for the role of Wolverine in 2000's X-Men before Hugh Jackman laded the part, including Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen. Here, the actor reveals why he passed...

It's common knowledge that Hugh Jackman was not 20th Century Fox or director Bryan Singer's first choice for Wolverine in 2000's X-Men (he was actually recommended for the role by Russell Crowe after he passed), and one of the actors considered was Viggo Mortensen.

Despite being a fan-favourite choice for several different characters over the years, the Lord of the Rings star has yet to appear in a superhero movie (the closest he came was David Cronenberg's graphic novel adaptation, A History of Violence), but he did briefly consider suiting-up as Logan after being offered the part by Singer back in the day.

During an interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Mortensen revealed that one of the reasons he decided to pass on the role was his son, who he brought with him to meet the director as a "good luck charm," pointing out how this movie version of Wolvie differed from the comics!

“The thing that bothered me at the time was just the commitment of endless movies of that same character over and over,” the actor recalls. “I was nervous about that. And also there were some things... 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.'”

Mortensen went on to say that Singer then asked his son if he was familiar with the character.

“And he goes ‘yeah, but he doesn’t look like this,' And all of a sudden the director is falling all over himself and then the rest of the meeting was him explaining in detail to Henry why he was taking certain liberties. We walked out of there, and Henry asks if he will change the things he told him about, and I say I don’t think so. I’m not going to do it anyway, because i’m not sure I want to be doing this for years, and then a couple of years later I’m doing 3 Lord Of The Rings so who knows.”

Of course, Jackman ended up playing the iconic mutant, and the rest is history. “I think he did great," Mortensen says of the Aussie actor's take on Logan. "I’m sure no one could imagine anyone doing it better than he did anyway."

Mortensen probably would have made a terrific Wolverine, but the same could be said of any number of comic book characters. The chances of us seeing him play a prolific Marvel or DC superhero/villain in the future seem slim, however, as he recently stepped behind the camera for his directorial debut, Falling.

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