10 Actors Who Turned Down Iconic Roles For Stupid Reasons

10. Russell Crowe Thought Wolverine Was A "Wolf-Man" - Wolverine (X-Men)

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The Role

Everyone's favourite mutant, the superhero who made the cinematic X-Men a thing - Wolverine, as so wonderfully played by Hugh Jackman for almost two decades across the X-Men franchise.

But long before Jackman took the part, and even before Dougray Scott was set to play Wolverine but had to back out due to scheduling conflicts with Mission: Impossible II, Russell Crowe was actually director Bryan Singer's first choice.

Why He Turned It Down

Hilariously, Crowe felt that one aspect of the character was just too similar to his Oscar-winning role as Maximus in Ridley Scott's Gladiator, which he finished filming a few months before X-Men went into production.

Crowe said in an interview, "If you remember, Maximus has a wolf at the centre of his cuirass, and he has a wolf as his companion at the beginning of the film, which I thought was going to be a bigger deal [at the time]. So I said no, because I didn’t want to be ‘Wolfy the General’ and then ‘Wolfy the other bloke,’ like now I’m Mr. Wolfman. I can only do movies that have something to do with wolves."

Obviously, Wolverine doesn't really have anything to do with wolves, and he's certainly not a wolf-man, so in turning Singer down, Crowe forfeited some colossal future paydays.

There's no guaranteeing audiences would've warmed to Crowe's Logan in quite the same way they did Jackman's, but it's tough to argue with his suitedness to the part on paper.

Still, Jackman gave fans arguably the most note-perfect rendition of any screen superhero to date, so it's hard to think too much about what could've been.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.