Top 5: Actors Who Were Almost Wolverine

5. Dougray Scott

If it wasn’t for delays that plagued the filming of the second Mission: Impossible, this Scottish actor would have been Logan in the first X-Men movie. Scott was much-talked about actor in the late 90s, rumored several times to be in line to play James Bond before Daniel Craig was ultimately chosen. When Scott, who played the villain in M:I 2, was unavailable when X-Men began filming, Fox hurried to hire an unknown musical theater actor named Hugh Jackman and that seemed to turn out pretty well for him.


4. Russell Crowe

When The Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer was tapped to (finally) bring the X-Men to the big screen, his ideal actor to play the scruffy Wolverine was none other than Russell Crowe. Crowe, who just finished filming Gladiator passed on it due to the similarities he perceived between the roles. Now, the closest thing Crowe has done to playing a comic book superhero is playing Superman’s dad in the upcoming Man of Steel.


3. Edward Norton

Edward Norton was a supremely hot commodity around the time that the X-Men movies were taking off, especially with Fight Club and American History X on his resume. So much so that Norton was offered the chance to play Wolverine but (thankfully) Norton passed on the chance. Norton had been courted for various comic movie roles over the years before he ultimately stepped in to film 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.

2. Glenn Danzig

Imagine an 80s era metal/punk singer taking up the claws and the mane of Logan in an X-Men movie. It almost happened in the mid-90s, when former Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig was offered the chance to play Wolverine in an X-Men movie in the mid-90s. Danzig, who at the time had never acted in any movie, turned down the role due to a scheduling conflict with a nine month world tour with his band. Also, the movie never happened.


1. Bob Hoskins

Who Framed Jamie Howlett? Not quite, but when Chris Claremont and Stan Lee flew out to Hollywood to shop around the idea of an X-Men movie in 1990 Bob Hoskins was their ideal candidate to play the diminutive Canadian mutant once known as Weapon X. Claremont and Lee came very close to getting the film put into production, having a meeting with James Cameron where the plan was hatched for Cameron’s then-wife Kathryn Bigelow (who went on to win an Oscar for directing The Hurt Locker) to direct the flick with Hoskins as Wolverine and Angela Bassett as Storm. What could have been.


  1. Hoskins came as a surprise… and I need a lot of fantasy for that one… the others I could imagin easily… Norton is American X even had the build…

  2. Mother……

  3. I could have gone my whole life without seeing that photo of Bob Hoskins.

  4. Danzig would have been perfect. Just the right height! haha

    Man if that was a 90s then it would have been so low budget awesome….and it would have been waaaaaaaaayyyyyy dark.

    • Yes, I was one of Danzig fans hoping to see him in the Wolverine role back in the day. Instead, I had to settle for a 2 minute appearance as a Fallen Angel in Prophecy 2. Sigh…oh what could have been.

  5. Dougray Scott? Maybe. The rest? Gawdinheavenhelpustheywouldhavebeenjustawfulawfulawful!!!!!!!

  6. In ’97 when I saw L.A. Confidential (still one of my favorite movies) I was blown away by Crowe, it was the first thing I saw him in. I remember not long after that there was talk of a X-Men movie from my friends and I just shouted out his name without even thinking. I think it was his anger in that movie, especially the scene in the interrogation room. When he breaks the back of the chair with his hands, throws the guy up against the wall, takes 5 of the 6 bullets out of his pistol, and yells “one in six!” And actually pulls the trigger a few times. Still think it would have been cool.

  7. Danzig is rally the only option.

  8. I think Danzig is one of those “looks good on paper” choices. A tiny stocky tough looking man playing Wolverine? He’d look awesome until he actually has to act! Plus, pretty much anything he’s done post-Danzig III has been pretty abysmal.

  9. The real question, is will I ever be able to un-see that sexy Bob Hoskins picture?

  10. Norton is waaaay too skinny for wolvie.
    Crowe woulda been a fine choice. better than Jackman, anyway.

  11. That has got to be the Best Belt buckle that I have ever seen!

  12. Yeah Dougray Scott was the big hype guy for 1999. Then he lost the part of Wolverine, then MI 2 came out and while it made a lot of money, everyone agreed he was a terrible villain. Less than two years later he was forgotten in hollywood.

  13. I know I’m the only one who likes the idea of Bob Hoskins circa 1990. If you saw his earlier British films, he was short, muscular, and tough! Just like Wolverine was in his earlier appearances.

    Edward Norton. . really? He is WAY too skinny. I could imagine him as Loki or the Human Torch.

    I agree with mayoroftelevision, Russell Crowe would have been interesting as Wolverine.

    • Looking at the list again, I’d say the only one capable of playing the part would have been Russell Crowe. Besides the claws, we all know Crowe is good with a telephone!

      Yes, I went there. Arrest me if you wish.

  14. I think a Bob Hoskins/Angela Basset led X-Men film would have been great. I like the 80’s/early-90’s version of Wolverine better than his current incarnation and Hoskins fits that role.

    • Agreed! Wolverine was originally listed at 5″3 and Sabertooth always referred to him as “runt”. I know “Hollywood’s” vision of tall, dark and skinny. Hugh Jackman is decent, I would have preferred him as Cyclops next to Famke Jansen.

      After the live action movie Marvel had changed Wolverine. Does anyone remember the X-men Evolution with the tall Wolverine?

  15. Danzig isn’t allowed to act in ANYTHING until he acts in this:

    • Yes! Break through role in that.

      Auditions and offered to play Wolverine over Jackman.

      Danzig is the new Wolverine.

  16. I’m still hoping that Hoskins will be cast as Puck.

  17. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think Hoskins would have nailed Wolverine. He’s a versatile actor and given his age, it would have seemed appropriate for him to play Logan.

    I was a fan of the Danzig rumor, based purely on aesthetics alone. I don’t know how he would have handled the acting bits.

    That bit about Basset being Storm is what I kept thinking to myself throughout the X-Men franchise. She just seems more regal to me, and looks more like Storm.

  18. With no disrespect to Hugh Jackman as an actor, I must say that he was never Wolverine for me.

    Even if the script didn’t have a sanitized take on the character (calling Cyclops “a dick” of all things!), Hugh was far too nice and not nearly intense enough in the role. I totally understand taking Wolvie in a sexy, post 90’s ‘bad boy’ direction (hey, I get that girls watch movies too) and the decision clearly paid off financially, but to me, Hugh Jackman didn’t effectively portray the Wolverine I know and love.

    Then again, I should say that I hated all the X Men movies (I’ve not seen ‘First Class) and I’m probably totally in the minority for that. I actually like most of the actors in those movies (Mr. Jackman included), but the casting never felt “right” to me.