Russell Crowe Is The Reason Hugh Jackman Became Wolverine

By Jennifer Muscato | Published

It’s hard to imagine Wolverine as anyone else but Hugh Jackman. He’s had the role for more than 20 years, since 2000’s X-Men, but at the time of his casting, he was a relatively unknown actor. Russell Crowe was actually offered the part of Wolverine first, but he turned it down.

Crowe Had No Idea What a Wolverine Was

In an interview with, Russell Crowe said director Bryan Singer was pressuring him to take the part of Wolverine, but Crowe didn’t want it because he didn’t want to be typecast. Crowe explained that his character in Gladiator had a wolf at the center of his armor, and he had a wolf as his companion. Crowe didn’t want to be typecast as an actor who can only do movies that have something to do with wolves.

Wolverines Do Exist

This, of course, was Russell Crowe misunderstanding the Wolverine character. Wolverines look like small bears, but are actually very large weasels and have claws. A wolf looks like a large dog. Wolverines are often incorrectly thought to belong to the same family as the wolf, but they are not. Russell Crowe made this mistake and Hugh Jackman did too.

According to the New York Post, the Aussie actor said he “embarrassingly” did two weeks of research on wolves, including seeing an IMAX documentary about them.

Even Jackman Thought It Was A Wolf

When Hugh Jackman brought some wolf-life movements to the set of X-Men, Singer said, “You know you’re not a wolf, right?” Jackman said he had no idea that a wolverine was even a real thing, and Singer told him to go to a zoo and check it out himself. In his defense, wolverines are usually found in Canada and Alaska, not Australia.

Crowe And Jackman’s Friendship

After turning down the part, Russell Crowe brought up Jackman’s name for Wolverine. Crowe told the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast that when he first saw the film’s artwork, it didn’t look like him, but that it did look like Hugh Jackman.

If that wasn’t enough, Russell Crowe put Jackman up for yet another role besides Wolverine. He told the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast that when director/writer Baz Luhrmann offered him the epic drama Australia, he didn’t think he was a right fit and recommended Jackman.

Jackman posted this message on social; “There’s countless ways [Russell Crowe] has helped me behind the scenes. He’s a good man and a great friend.”

Russell Crowe Has Had A Decent Career Regardless

Russell Crowe was born in New Zealand but spent his childhood in Australia, and Jackman is from Australia. The actors starred together in 2012’s Les Misérables. Crowe and Jackman have also been known to support each other’s projects and have been seen attending events and red carpets together.

Russell Crowe may have passed on a huge role like Wolverine, but he has obviously done very well for himself. He won the Best Actor Oscar for Gladiator and has been nominated for an Oscar two other times. His new film Sleeping Dogs currently has a 92 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Crowe’s New Franchise

russell crowe

Last year, Crowe starred in The Pope’s Exorcist, which made $76 million in theaters and shot to the top of Netflix’s streaming charts in the wake of its theatrical release. Crowe has expressed in interviews that The Pope’s Exorcist might become a trilogy.

As for Hugh Jackman, he’s back as Wolverine in the highly-anticipated Deadpool & Wolverine, out July 26.

robert downey jr

Subscribe For

Marvel News

Expect a confirmation email if you Subscribe.