Marvel’s First Choice For Wolverine Was A Controversial Rock Star

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Henry Cavill

When it comes to superhero movies, no actor has ever embodied their character more than Hugh Jackman. Jackman has portrayed Marvel’s most popular X-Man, Wolverine, for over 23 years and 10 different films. At this point, it’s fair to say that Hugh Jackman and his claw-poppin’ alter-ego are practically indistinguishable. But believe it or not, the cranky Canadian was almost played by controversial rocker Danzig.

Glenn Danzig as Wolverine?

The story goes that Glenn Danzig, lead singer of the legendary horror-punk band the Misfits, is a “Wolverine fanatic” and at one point was even in talks to play the character in live action. As far as looks go, he certainly would have nailed the part. Danzig’s muscular build and impressive sideburns made him a dead ringer for Logan. In fact, at only 5ft 3in tall, the diminutive singer would have made a more comic book-accurate Wolverine than the much taller Jackman.

It Started With Wizards Magazine

It was neither the studio nor the singer himself who first suggested that Danzig would make a good Wolverine, but actually the now-defunct Wizard Magazine. In a 1995 article, Wizard laid out its dream cast for a potential X-Men movie, and Glenn Danzig was the magazine’s choice to play the Ol’ Canucklehead. “And finally, Wolverine, the most unshaven hero in comics, would be brought to life by the brooding rock star Glenn Danzig.” wrote Wizard.

Wizards Got One Piece Of Casting Perfect

The rest of Wizard‘s casting choices, such as Terminator actor Michael Biehn as Cyclops and Dolph Lundgren as Colussus, were just as inspired. Sadly, none of them, including their pick for Wolverine, never came to fruition, save for one. All the way back in 1995 someone at Wizard had the foresight to suggest that Patrick Stewart portray Charles Xavier—a role he ended up playing almost as long as Jackman.

Danzig Meet With The X-Men Screenwriters

Somebody must have agreed with Wizard because official reports say that Glenn Danzig did indeed meet with executives at 20th Century Fox to discuss playing the role of Wolverine in the first X-Men film. Both the movie’s screenwriter, David Hayter, and Danzig himself have corroborated this story. Glenn ended up passing on the role due to scheduling conflicts with his post-Misfits band, Danzig.

Fox Went With Hugh Jackman

wolverine kevin feige

Ultimately, Fox dodged a bullet because while Danzig may have looked the part, the notoriously problematic singer would have no doubt been more trouble than he was worth. Aside from getting into physical altercations on the regular, Danzig is famous for his morbid and disturbing lyrics. Perhaps the man who famously crooned, “I want your skull, I need your skull,” shouldn’t be the poster boy for a family-friendly blockbuster film franchise.

Danzig Would Have Been A Disaster

Liev Schreiber

Danzig was once asked what he thought of Hugh Jackman’s performance as Wolverine, and his answer was, well, it was very Danzig, let’s put it that way. In an interview just after the release of the first X-Men, Danzig was asked what he would have done differently if he had been cast as Wolverine. His answer?

“It wouldn’t have been as gay.” Yikes. Here, Glenn, have a little homophobia with your coffee.

Jackman Is The Perfect Wolverine


In the same interview, Danzig called the movie “terrible” and also answered one of the interviewer’s other questions by implying that he’d rather slit someone’s throat from behind than fight them face to face. We don’t think we’re alone in saying that Hugh Jackman was the better choice to play Wolverine.