Hugh Jackman Turned Down James Bond Back in Early ’00s

In an alternate universe, 2017 would have treated us to an R-rated action-drama called James, focusing on an older, retired James Bond brought back for one last mission concerning a girl that might just be his daughter. The actor who would have played Bond? Hugh Jackman.

It’s a nice “What if?” scenario, and in an interview with Variety, Jackman revealed that the role of James Bond post-Pierce Brosnan era was all his, except that he turned it down. He said:

“I was about to do X-Men 2 and a call came from my agent asking if I’d be interested in Bond. 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.’”

Jackman voiced the sentiments of a number of Bond fans who believed the films had reached unbelievable heights. Additionally, he was worried that, “between Bond and X-Men, I’d never have time to do different things.”

All turned out in the end as Daniel Craig reinvented the James Bond with Casino Royale and Hugh Jackman made Wolverine his own, and ended his tenure with possibly the best X-Men film ever (depends who you ask). Also, if Jackman had taken Bond, he probably wouldn’t have been in The Prestige and I consider that I bigger sin than not appearing in as many X-Men films.

Would you have liked to have seen Hugh Jackman as James Bond?

  • I’m going to say argh was the most common but that’s not really a word so maybe pirate or Wench?

  • Kemosabe 🦇

    I looked up pirate impressions on youtube. I learned a couple things. 1.) Kids doing pirate impressions is one of the most adorable things ever and 2.) I never heard the word “rum”.

    There are pirate impressions specific to Pirates of the Caribbean but I didn’t watch those because what’s the point. They’re already impressions of specific pirates.

  • Joe Newman

    Dr. Gregory House: I assume “minimal at best” is your stiff-upper-lip British way of saying “no chance in hell.”

    Dr. Robert Chase: I’m Australian.

    Dr. Gregory House: You put the Queen on your money. You’re British.

  • Okay probably “Argh, I’m a pirate. Where’s the rum?”

  • 🎅Poppity🌟

    Then I’m dirt broke! 😀

  • King Alvarez

    A-Ha… The poor man’s Duran Duran.

  • King Alvarez
  • Kemosabe 🦇

    “argh” isn’t going away anytime soon.

  • Kemosabe 🦇

    “I’m a pirate” would be the most likely words actually. we’re talking about kids.

  • Sailor Monsoon

    I don’t think kids know that that was a thing anymore

  • True but they’d probably say it drunkenly and folkow it up with “where’s the rum?”

  • Kemosabe 🦇

    “argh” would probably be the first thing they’d say.

  • Kemosabe 🦇

    I’ve seen every Bond movie but I’d be lucky if I could remember half.

  • Sailor Monsoon

    Connery was so good as bond that Fleming retroactively made bond a quarter Scottish

  • Sailor Monsoon

    It felt like a dark police drama
    Like a less comedic lethal weapon

  • 🎅Poppity🌟

    I prefer The Living Daylights to License to Kill anyday because I don’t care for the really dark Bond he incarnated, though it was very much like the literary one. Carey Lowell was really bad in License to Kill, which did not help the movie one bit.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de2rBeWNgFo

  • 🎅Poppity🌟

    Me, too. He’s my second fav next to Connery. Dalton is very underrated as Bond.

  • 🎅Poppity🌟

    Heck yes!!

  • 🎅Poppity🌟

    It’s funny that no one really brings that up about Connery. Perhaps it is because he did a great Bond rendition. Andy Murray is a Scottish tennis player (and good friends with Connery) and when he is on a winning streak, he’s considered British and when he’s doing poorly, he’s back to being just Scottish. 😉

  • Lol!

  • Isn’t that just cashing a paycheque? I agree, let the writer and director do there thing, but if an actor is not into it then what’s the point?

  • Sailor Monsoon

    Although clive owen would’ve been fucking awesome as bond

  • Amen

  • Sailor Monsoon

    There’s near misses i wish would’ve happened but I’m glad i live in the universe where depp is sparrow, jackman is wolverine and craig is bond.

  • And that’s why he got an oscar nom. And you’re right about that drunken rum part. That’s literally how my friend played a pirate in this shitty school video we did.

  • Sailor Monsoon

    I love jackman but it would’ve just been a badass swashbuckler.
    Depp literally rewrote what a pirate is.
    You ask any kid to do a pirate impression and they’re not going to say “argh” or “walk da plank”
    They’re going to drunkingly ask where the rum is
    He created one of the defining characters of the 21st century

  • Oh yeah. I doubt we’d have PotC 4&5 if Depp hadn’t been cast. Hell we might have only gotten the first film.

  • Sailor Monsoon

    Say what you will about depp but he was born to play Jack Sparrow.
    He created that character from scratch

  • Sailor Monsoon

    I like dalton as bond but his films don’t stick to my memory

  • In a world where Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, Bond, and Jack Sparrow his filmography would be this:
    2000 – X-Men
    2003 – X2/PotC
    2006 – Casino Royale
    2007 – PotC 2
    2008 – PotC 3
    2009 – Origins Wolverine
    2010 – Bond 2
    2011 – Pirates 4/First Class
    2012 – Bond 3
    2013 – Wolverine
    2014 – DOFP
    2015 – Bond 4
    2016 – Pirates 5
    2017 – Logan

    No way Jackman could have came back as Wolverine for X3. Also he’s right in that he’d have no time to do anything else lol.

  • MichaelAndTheArgonauts

    I like the Dalton films a lot actually. Moore’s…not so much.

  • William Dhalgren

    I dunno. Connery is a Scot. Bond is pretty English if memory serves.

  • William Dhalgren

    “Oh, you don’t get a say. You just have to sign on.”

    That’s how it should be. Let the writer worry about the script. You focus on memorizing your lines.

  • Sailor Monsoon

    Die another day isn’t good but it’s at least memorably bad
    With the exception of live and let die, i couldn’t tell you a single thing that happens in either the Moore or Dalton films.
    They just exist.

  • ResonanceCascade

    I was probably too young to understand how bad those were when I saw them — but I also haven’t revisited them since.

  • Sailor Monsoon

    I’d rather watch die another day over almost any moore film any day of the week

  • ResonanceCascade

    I sometimes wake up in a cold sweat thinking I’m trapped watching Die Another Day.

  • MichaelAndTheArgonauts

    He did a good pass. After Tomorrow Never Dies the Bond films got unbelievably silly until Casino Royale knocked us all on our asses.

  • Kemosabe 🦇

    We are blessed to have had him as Wolverine and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  • Kemosabe 🦇

    He could have bought an island!

  • Sailor Monsoon

    He also turned down captain jack sparrow.

  • ResonanceCascade

    He’d have been fine, I guess. Lazenby already took all the heat for being an Aussie, too, so that wouldn’t be an issue for purists.

    Speaking of Jackman, now that Denis Villenueve is doing Dune, I’m really hoping he gets cast as Duke Leto. I always picture him as that character, and he’s worked with Villenueve before.

  • Hhis Wolverine is iconic and pitch-perfect, and gave us some great movies, including a fantastic swan-song in the form of Logan, so anything that could potentially have changed this is a no in my book.

    He certainly could have pulled it of though.

  • Joe Newman