Hugh Jackman was almost 007.
The Australian actor opened up about what could have been in an interview with Variety. Jackman, who was sought as the replacement for Pierce Brosnan, said the scripts at the time were too “unbelievable.”
“I was about to do X-Men 2 and a call came from my agent asking if I’d be interested in Bond,” Jackman recalled. “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.”
His suggestions didn’t make the cut, with the actor saying he was told he didn’t get a say in how the story of James Bond went.
Despite feeling as though the story would not connect with audiences, Jackman also said he was “worried that between Bond and X-Men, I’d never have time to do different things.”
The part eventually went to British actor, Daniel Craig, who portrayed the iconic spy in 2006’s Casino Royale. Craig continued portraying the character in Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).
Jackman does not having any regrets about turning down the potential role.
“I always tried to do different things,” he said. “But there was a time between X-Men 3 and the first Wolverine movie when I could see the roles getting smaller. People wanted me to play that kind of hero part exclusively. It felt a little bit claustrophobic.”
Making sure not to become just an action hero, Jackman pursued other more varied roles. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for his role as the brooding Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.
He is currently starring in The Greatest Showman — an original musical about P.T. Barnum and his journey to launching his first circus show.
The film hits theaters on Christmas Day.